Wednesday, April 3, 2013

False Advertising... it's all around

So today was the day I had my annual appointment with my banking person.  Looking around I started to notice a trend...

Do you ever notice that in all bank advertising, the people featured are overly happy? The brochures and pamphlets are about mortgages and loans, and the couples are smiling and laughing. Sometimes they're sitting at a table crunching numbers and they're smiling from ear to ear. Who seriously is that happy about their banking? Usually when I think about money or my bank I start bursting into tears. But I guess that wouldn't sell as well.

This one (below) features two girls at a baseball game.
photo from The Toronto Star
Seriously, does your bank account manager have anything to do with you being ecstatic at a baseball game? It's like they're taking credit for the happiest moments in your life.

Sometimes I wonder who dreams up this stuff. Who works at these advertising companies and decides to blast whatever they want in order to influence the public. It's actually fairly scary what society believes, just because of advertising.

Here's another example (and my latest rant): We all think of Canadian Chinese food as containing MSG and we're all so proud when we find a restaurant that bluntly advertises "No MSG", but did you ever think of all the other places that MSG hides? Like your Lays and Ruffles potato chips? Your pre-mixed seasonings? It's scary how much of this stuff is out there, but no one ever talks about it.

Even foods that are branded as "Gluten Free" - you still need to check the labels... just because it says "low-fat" or "gluten-free" doesn't mean it's healthy. That's the advertising companies trying to lure you in to buying their product.

This is straight from the Heinz Canada website: "Our philosophy on food is simple. We use only the finest ingredients...  Heinz has been providing high quality products to Canadians for more than 100 years." I've bolded the words that the company has used to trick you.

Do you really want to know what's in your Ketchup? (from:

Well, we all know that high fructose corn syrup is killing us and contributing to the obesity "epidemic". And what exactly is "natural flavouring"? What does that even mean??? Usually it also means MSG or something else sneaky that these companies don't want to disclose. (side note: Heinz' "Organic" version actually contains more sugar than the original - 5g vs 4g per 1 tbsp... again, how does this make any sense?).

It's time for us to get smart. Let's outsmart the advertising companies. Let's outsmart them all! Look past the pretty pictures on billboards and at the bus station; start reading your labels thoroughly and question everything. If something sounds sneaky, or there are ingredients that don't make any sense... well, that's probably your primal instinct kicking in. Every product you buy is a vote for that product and that company. Make your vote count.