Tuesday, 10 June 2014

TRICKY ADVERTISING AND HOW I RESENTED IT

Does it bother you when products are advertised in glowing terms but the claims are exaggerated? It certainly upsets me. In fact, I've purchased many things and found them to be not as advertised. Thanks to Abbie Taylor for reminding me of one misleading product.

The first stereo I bought had an 8-track recorder built into it. When I unpacked it and set it up, I found that there were in fact only four tracks. The fact that each stereo channel was called a track dawned on me as I tried to figure out the discrepancy. "What a rip off," I muttered as I pushed the track selector button. I had heard of special tape recorders in recording studios where a person could record on one of eight tracks and listen to the others so I expected something similar. Once my disappointment wore off, I enjoyed the commercially-recorded music cartridges I bought as well as those on which I taped my favourite songs from records.

A year later, I felt disappointed by another advertising slight of hand. One of these false ads was in the 1977 Radio Shack catalogue. I had just started in the CB hobby when I read about a radio with a-hundred-and-twenty channels. While paying my rent, I asked my knowledgeable landlord about this amazing radio. "It doesn't really have that many channels," he explained. "They include the forty AM channels as well as each upper and lower sideband." Again I felt let down by clever marketing.

Computer disks also disappointed me when I found out that they aren't the values claimed on the packaging. Floppy disks and CD-Rs have some of the data space used for disk information and sector tracks. The same is true of external hard drives. So that one terabyte hard drive might only hold sixty megabytes of reserved space. While I feel it's misleading to value these media devices in terms of total data space, as opposed to actual storage space, I understand the need to have such reserve space but I still feel cheated.

I also resented that compact fluorescent bulbs were touted as environmentally friendly. Certainly they use a quarter of the power needed by incandescent bulbs but providing the same level of lighting. What we weren't told at first about was the mercury inside them. America's Environmental Protection Agency eventually warned people of how to clean up broken bulb fragments but in an overblown way. So what they promised was canceled by the danger these bulbs pose when not properly disposed of. I personally found the light from these lamps to be irritating to my vision. LED bulbs are now at the level of brightness where they can replace forty and even sixty watt incandescent bulbs, plus there's no danger of mercury poisoning with them.

I also was misled spiritually. How I Was Razed shows how easily toxic church leaders can control their followers with promises of power and advanced knowledge. Find out more at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.