Say What?

January 2nd, 2014

Some came from pitchmen themselves, others from those talking about advertising. Either way, these are the quotes that got TINA.org’s attention in 2013.

Can you guess who said them? Or why? (Answers immediately follow quotes.)

1. Who Said It?

1. Who Said It?

“We slice and dice the truth, without necessarily communicating the rest of the truth. We’ve also embellished it. Sometimes we ignore it completely. Advertising today is a truth-free zone.”

Jonathan Baskin

Speaking at the NAD conference in New York City, author and marketing consultant Jonathan Baskin emphasized the importance of the truth — and how modern advertising often lacks it.

2. Who Said It?

2. Who Said It?

“Imagine if you had a secret code for making money, a code buried deep within biblical text. A code that certain investment titans have quietly exploited to amass billions. And what if this code could be used by you, today, to unlock vast amounts of wealth safely and ethically?”

The Biblical Money Code

We pulled that quote from an ad for “The Biblical Money Code.” Also known as “Money Code 411,” this NewsMax product (surprise!) doesn’t really have a secret Bible codex telling you what stocks to invest in. Instead, Sean Hyman, the pastor pitching this code, is really pitching his financial advice newsletter “The Ultimate Wealth Report,” which you can subscribe to for $47 a year. We’re not sure that’s the same thing as a hidden code in the Bible.

3. Who Said It?

3. Who Said It?

“Watch any television commercial for any product — it’s the views and opinions of the persons who are making and selling the product…That’s what advertising is.”

Thomas Kirsch, Lawyer for Repeat Bad-Ad Man Kevin Trudeau

Kevin Trudeau, who was banned by a 2004 FTC consent degree from misrepresenting the contents of his book in informercials, was put in jail last year for criminal contempt after … misrepresenting the contents of his book in more informercials. Trudeau’s lawyer Thomas Kirsch argued that the case was more a difference of opinion than anything else — advertising is just an opinion, and (misleading) opinions are protected as free speech? — but to no avail. Trudeau, who is in double jail after being ordered to prison in two cases, will be sentenced in February.

4. Who Said It?

4. Who Said It?

“When any substance is placed in or on the [product], the “energy information” is transferred from the Quantum Harmonic BioSupport(R) Technology within the [product] to the water in the new liquid or solid. Bovis levels of 30-40K may be obtained within minutes and the very balancing 90 K within minutes instead of hours. The electrons in the substance take on a positive left spin. Their free radical nature is virtually eliminated! The body can more easily process and eliminate chemicals, allergens, or pathogens. “Negative memories” within a liquid substance formerly retained are wiped away within seconds! Along with a good alkalizing diet, bio available minerals and common sense, the [product] will become an indispensable tool in your every day living.”

eMug

Yes, those are actual advertising claims for the eMug. Weirdest product we saw in 2013.

5. Who Said It?

5. Who Said It?

“Beer on the inside, science on the outside.”

Coors Light

That was the claim made by MillerCoors for Coors Light and its new cans in TV spots last year. In the dumbest advertising spat of the year, rival Anheuser-Busch challenged MillerCoors claims about can science and that the can “Locks in Frost Brewed Taste” with NAD, but MillerCoors refused to participate, calling the challenge “frivolous.” Per its procedures, NAD forwarded the complaints to the FTC for further review.

6. Who Said It?

6. Who Said It?

“College is a pyramid scheme.”

Vemma CEO Benson K. Boreyko

Faced with criticism that his company is a pyramid scheme targeting young adults, CEO Benson K. Boreyko shot back at critics while being interviewed by TINA.org and called college a pyramid scheme. Yet, a few months later, his company started offering distributors the chance to earn $9,800 in cash to put toward college tuition. But hold on college students. Vemma’s own income distribution statement notes that 92 percent of active distributors would have not qualified for that level of bonus in 2012.

7. Who Said It?

7. Who Said It?

“The Food and Drug Administration has cited every major A.D.H.D. drug — stimulants like Adderall, Concerta, Focalin and Vyvanse, and nonstimulants like Intuniv and Strattera — for false and misleading advertising since 2000, some multiple times.”

The New York Times

In its article “The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder,” The New York Times reported that prescription stimulants sales have quintupled since 2002, thanks in part to misleading advertising on the part of drug companies.

8. Who Said It?

8. Who Said It?

“No reasonable consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage.”

Lawyer for vitaminwater

Our favorite quote of the year. Yup, that’s what a lawyer from vitaminwater argued in response to a class-action suit accusing Coca-Cola of making misleading health claims about vitaminwater. The beverage, which again is called VITAMINWATER, contains 33 grams of sugar and is not particularly healthy. But don’t let that name fool you!

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