False Advertising Leading to Divorce Courts?

divorce.001“Advertising claims are considered to be unethical if they are false, misleading, or deceptive.”

Wells, Moriarty, Burnett (2006)

Favourite Person is going to divorce Courts because she does not put up with deception. No. Wasn’t me. I’m a really good JewMaican these days, and Yom Kippur is just days away. Didn’t no nothing wrong. Not this time. I swear I’m innocent. Ok. Here’s the real truth. Come to think of it, is there an untruth at the heart of the real truth?

Unethical advertising?

It appears that the largest furniture retailer in the Caribbean has a misleading ad on FB. If you click on pictures of some advertised products what you see are not what you get. Not exactly what you would expect from a company established in England in 1850 and who has 400 stores in 18 countries. But Favourite Person says this has happened once too often and this time she is headed to Courts for a divorce. Piece of mind quietly delivered. Connection severed.

Keeping the romance going

Now, every cockroach knows that them don’t business in fowl fight. Similarly this marketer knows how to hold him corner. But, seriously, sometimes advertisers need to be reminded of the Russian proverb, “trust, but verify.” For whereas they would never countenance anything that is unethical, their associates, including staff and service providers, can make errors in judgment that have unintended consequences. The devil is in the details, and keeping the romance going is better than divorce by a long-standing, profitable customer. Who was it that said that it costs up to 20 times as much to gain a new customer as it does to retain an existing one? True, or false? What is your experience?

Finally, somehow I think that quick remedial action by the offending party could prevent divorce by Favourite Person and so many others on FB who, thinking this is unethical advertising, may be heading to divorce Courts.

Herman D. Alvaranga is a marketing and sales strategist and founder of the Caribbean School of Sales Management.


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