One great problem with laws and rules and regulations is that in almost all cases, obedience requires oversight. We’re beset with Medicare and Medicaid fraud, not because they’re bad programs, but because there’s inadequate oversight.
And often, the people at whom the law or regulation is aimed simply don’t know it exists. Take one of the most common phrases in advertising: “Save up to 40%.”
The fact is that if you advertise like that to prospects, they all expect to save 40%.
Whatever it is, everyone expects the maximum savings, whereas maybe only one person saves that much. Just this year the FTC sued a bunch of window makers for advertising excessive energy savings for their windows. So now the Feds have issued new guidelines.
Now they say that fifty percent or more of users should get that result in order for you to advertise it. The advertising industry’s past guidelines have been ten percent of users. Big difference. But that’s really not the point.
Who among us who make advertising knows about this? Do agency account managers know? Copywriters? Advertising managers? Mom and Pop at their retail store?
Guidelines, even laws, aren’t worth much unless everyone knows about them and the government provides oversight. That’s why so many government bureaus are worthless.
To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.