I was listening to a local radio station the other day and I heard two ads that kind of disturbed me. The ads were voiced by members of the station's crew - a woman named Mel Risden and the traffic helicopter guy named Captain Kirk.
The ads went something like this:
Mel: "We just sold our house ourselves without getting a realtor. When we took into account the time off work to show the house and all the legal paperwork we had to do ourselves, we actually lost money in the deal."
Captain Kirk: "When I'm flying around looking at traffic I always notice that Southland School buses leaves an extra 4 feet of space between the vehicle in front of them."
These statements are clearly blad-faced lies. Mel may or may not have recently sold her house, but with the average house price in Calgary being $380,000 and realtor fees being 7% of the first $100K and 3.5% of the remaining, that means Mel somehow blew almost $17,000 selling the house herself. Not sure how much Mel gets paid, but that sounds like several months off work entirely to me.
As for being able to count 4-feet intervals and distinguish one school bus from another at 1,000 feet? Not likely.
We all know that ads just aren't true in most cases, but we're willing to accept that the anonymous voice on the radio is being paid to say what they're saying. I think there's a difference between an anonymous voice and an established personality, however. Mel and Kirk have come on the air in full personality and and outright lied for money. Their credbility is out the door and I'm almost very suspect of their intelligence for doing such a thing in the first place.
When you've got the mic or camera on and talking about a product or service, think about what you're doing. Any product or service that's truly good should pose no problem to recommend. If you find that you have to lie about a product or service to recommend it, then don't do it.