Puffery in Advertising

Did you know that there is an actual law that says puffery (or more accurately, lying) is quite legal in advertising? Well, there is. According to law, puffery is legal if the company that is doing the puffing simply claims to be boasting. But some one is trying to change that law.

Professor Ivan Preston of the University of Wisconsin thinks puffery, or lying as he calls it, should be illegal. But the law assumes that people with common sense knows the difference between puff and the truth so therefore, it is not a big deal to consumers

"Advertising people are smart. If puffery means nothing to consumers, why do they bother with it? If advertisers had the facts, they might use the facts and forget the puffs," says 71 year old Ivan Preston, proffesor of advertising at the University of Wisconsin.

Maybe advertising people are just lazy. Interestingly, the bigger the claim, the more legal it is.

"If Papa John's says it has better dough, you can attack it," Prof. Preston said. "But if Papa John's says it's better overall, OK. The bigger the lie, the bigger the protection. That's amazing. Isn't that amazing?"

Well, who said advertising was true anyway?


by Steve Hall    Jan-24-03   Click to Comment   

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