Great Suggestion

Brad Warbiany has a great suggestion in response to new FTC rules requiring that

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides "“ which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as "results not typical" "“ the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

Brad has suggested this disclosure is in order:

Barack Obama, Sept 12, 2008
And I can make a firm pledge: under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 will see their taxes increase* "“ not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.

* Results not typical. Families making less than $250,000 can expect to see rises in cigarette taxes, increased energy costs through cap and trade and/or gasoline taxes, soda taxes, and mandates to buy costly insurance plans they can't afford. They can expect to pay all the taxes levied on "corporations", as well as the cost of new regulations, who will pass those on in the cost of goods. Families can expect taxation through the form of inflation, eating away at the buying power of their paychecks. Firm pledges have not taken Viagra and should not be expected to last more than 4 hours.

Update: From Ann Althouse, couldn't have said it better myself:

The most absurd part of it is the way the FTC is trying to make it okay by assuring us that they will be selective in deciding which writers on the internet to pursue. That is, they've deliberately made a grotesquely overbroad rule, enough to sweep so many of us into technical violations, but we're supposed to feel soothed by the knowledge that government agents will decide who among us gets fined. No, no, no. Overbreath itself is a problem. And so is selective enforcement.


  1. Michael:

    You forgot the VAT Nancy Pelosi is now pushing. There's a good chance the Democrats can get personal liabilities above income.

  2. Stan:

    My rebellious streak is tingling.. Makes me want to advertise boos and smokes for pennies.

  3. K:

    The Trade Commission? Clever, indeed.

    I never imagined going after successful, but unPC, bloggers that way. I thought the FCC or an internet supervision scheme would be the vehicle.

    These rule changes seemingly will drive endorsement or testimonial ads from the market. Not all that bad, I hate them myself, and who believes them?

    Althouse is probably right, this isn't about advertising. It is another step to selective law enforcement. Make rules so complex that anyone can be accused of a violation. Then prosecute people you don't like.

  4. nom de guerre:

    many many years ago, when i was a mere yoot, i read a book set in the ussr. a deep, dark, sinister place - a penitentiary nation, peopled with zeks and stoolies and those who went about their business each day in a kind of desperate attempt at invisibility and prayed that this day would not be the day in which came The Knock On The Door. that the burly, armed men with badges - who had quotas to make, after all - wouldn't catch them up in their nets and traps.

    the book started, IIRC, with a party enforcer explaining the way things worked there. (to a new guy? to the reader?) his first words were "every citizen who crosses gorky street breaks 8 laws in doing so". we read that lenin & trotsky & stalin killed between 10 and 20 million people in the course of their various terrors and purges. (not counting the 8,000,000 starved to death in the ukraine, of course. it's bad form to speak of these things nowadays.) as i understand it, most if not all of those victims were processed through the soviet legal system, and all of their legal rights as prisoners were adhered to. no executions without warrants and judicial oversight. to do otherwise - to just randomly prosecute and kill people you don't like - would be *anarchy*, after all. can't have that! people might get hurt!

    althouse isn't "probably" right, she's dead on. is the requirement that babies must have a SSN in order for mom & dad to claim a tax deduction for "The Child's" good?? or is there perhaps another purpose for that seemingly-innocuous rule?

  5. iceberg:

    Imagine some random blogger writes a product review, and Google Adsense accompanies his post with a link to the product page at instant injunction!

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