The Use of Proper Disclaimers in Ads

We review many ads that contain very prominent headlines designed to catch the consumer’s attention and draw her into the ad to buy the advertised product.  You might ask, “What good is an ad that does not contain a prominent headline, intended to attract attention and draw in the consumer to purchase the advertised product?”  Fair question.

But from time to time we see ads that really do not deliver what they purport to offer to the consumer; ads that employ both a bold headline to suck in the consumer and a disclaimer of the offered deal in the fine print, not proximate to the headline, to tell the consumer that what is advertised is not going to be provided.  For example, a headline that offers a savings of 20% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE CATALOG, when, in fact, that ad contains a disclaimer, buried at the bottom of the ad in fine print that not “everything in the catalog” is 20% off; “restrictions apply.” Continue reading