entries filed under 'advertising' tag:
posted by Odin on Mar 05, 2010
'Dove Billboard' by ebarrera, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License
Back in December, I read a great article in the Gazette discussing the excessive doctoring and editing done to marketing images in the women's fashion/beauty industry. The author mentions that in France, "legislators have proposed a bill that would require publishers to label which images were real and which had been enhanced", "in an attempt to educate consumers".
Isn't this amazing? I know this is not going to change the world or make it a better place, but it's just an example of how France and Europe in general are so much more pro-consumer than North America. The author goes on to say "although this bill might not consider the interests of the advertisers, it does consider those of the consumer".
That is exactly what I am driving at. Corporations need to be kept in check using small measures such as this one; otherwise the consumer is just being taken for a ride.
The article reminded me of other such regulations that I have encountered during the year and a half I spent in France. For example, I recall reading somewhere that all airlines and travel brokers in France are required by law to only advertise the final price for a trip. They are not allowed, for example, to list a figure before taxes and add a star pointing to the fine print, which says that taxes and other fuel surcharges need to be added, a strategy very common here in Canada.
Almost every edition of the Gazette contains WestJet and Air Transat ads for example, showcasing very attractive prices, such as $350 round-trip tickets to Italy. However, once you go on their website and get to the payment screen, the price easily doubles, after taxes, fuel and other charges are added.
This is plain ridiculous! Why not completely insult our intelligence, tell us tickets go for $10 and add a thousand dollars in taxes? The point is that the advertised price is meaningless to the consumer.
Another example concerns food advertisements in France. Any poster or magazine spread for non-healthy or non-essential food and drink products are obligated to display a modestly-sized disclaimer saying something like "You must eat such and such servings for fruits and vegetables a day" or "be sure to exercise regularly to maintain good health".
The list of such examples goes on. My question is: why can't Canada be more pro-consumer? Why must the corporation reign supreme? I think Europe can teach us important lessons in this respect.
about the blog
MTLRants© is Seek Odin's brand new blog, bringing you entries from our staff and other contributors. The blog will cover topics and issues related to SeekOdin's central themes. Mostly, it will deal with the difficulties and frustrations of dealing with service-related businesses in Montreal.
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