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Advertising/false advertising


You may or not be able to answer this, but I've always wondered something. How are TV commercials for food allowed to show what isn't the truth? For example, I just saw a TV ad here in the states for a pizza chain called Papa John's and the pizza was shown with steam coming off of it, to appear hot. I don't know about you, but I have never seen hot pizza with steam rising from it. It's obviously done to make the food look more inviting, but isn't this deceptive? How do they get away with that?  Thanks


You are right… to a point. It could be proven that pizza straight from the oven and place in a -20°C environment would steam - (and I only use that exaggerated temperature to make a point) - there is nothing misleading about the state of the pizza - i.e.: ingredients or presentation so therefor would pass scrutiny. Few show a bottle of beer or pop without water droplets on the bottle but this is certainly not how I get them out of the box or for that matter out of a fridge - even on a hot day.

The image is used to invite and encourage purchase intent (as you suspect) but unless the photographer fills the bottom of the bowl with marbles so as to have the vegetable stick out of the soup broth to demonstrate that there are a lot of vegetables in the soup then there is no case. That said, marketing types will try their best to get one by the scrutinizers 1./ if they can, 2./ if they wish to play Russian Roulette with a social media-enabled audience.

Buyer beware, brand merchandiser be VERY aware.



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Peter Gabany


Strategic planning: Objective based communicaitons, ad creative graphic design, writing, photography - buying and making, illustration - buying, print, outdoor, event, media, media planning, broadcast, how to select an agency, what the client must provide, pitching a client / being pitched


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