Nick Ostergaard, Central Indiana BBB advertising review manager, wrote, “The average person is exposed to between 3,000 to 5,000 advertising messages daily. Undoubtedly, a certain percentage of these messages will have some sort of spin or bias that is not entirely truthful or not truthful in a practical setting or sense. The BBB monitors local advertising, but the ultimate responsibility rests with the consumer to verify that claims are factual and understand the context in how the claims were made prior to making a purchase based solely on an advertised claim."
The BBB is cautioning consumers to be on the lookout for exaggerated claims and they say that ad messages can sometimes be less than truthful. No kidding? Some examples I've seen right here on Indy television are ads for new carpet at 70% off. The question is off of what? There was an ad in the Indianapolis Star by "Deal Chicken" for carpet cleaning at 58% off. Why doesn't the BBB or the Indiana Attorney General challenge these ads for authenticity? Does anyone remember the stink the BBB made about "Steam" carpet cleaning?
At one time there were rules that said in order to have a sale on something it had to be offered for a higher price for a certain period of time. With no enforcement of FTC guidelines by anyone and with increasing numbers of mendacious merchants, discounts have become meaningless. And on top of these so called legitimate ad offers, there is also the "Bait and Switch" element of just plain crooks in the business. "Buyer beware!"
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