What they would be most confused by is the role of the ASA and other regulators, and the number of campaigns that I have noticed in the press that have been censured in the past few weeks. On the back of the Leveson Inquiry, it will be interesting to see how our world will respond – especially in the area of misrepresentation.
As I walk along the high street with my children, I struggle to justify to them how an ‘All Day Breakfast’ is only available until 4pm. Or why – at this time of year – my local church is offering a ‘Midnight Mass’ on Christmas Eve that starts at 11am. Or my local bar offers a ‘Happy Hour’ from 5pm until 7.30pm.
I guess we are all guilty of a slight play on words, where the words work. In my business we have something called ‘Product of the Month’, but in reality it rarely runs for an exact month, and generally they are services rather than products that we are promoting.
Does this really matter? Sometimes I feel that the regulators treat consumers too much like children. Do we really need to be mollycoddled around some of the claims of advertisers; are we not sensible human beings who can make our mind up whether something is simply a play on words, or is too good to be true?