Sunday, August 16, 2009

Just Teasing

Commercials for products that are supposed to have one effect or the other often come with disclaimers, one of the most common ones being: "Results not typical," as you often see for weight-loss plans. Leaving aside for a moment the idea that the results may not be typical because of things that you don't know about the unknown spokespersons for these plans, this is a sensible thing to do. After all, to get the best results from many of these plans, you have to stick with them for a certain amount of time - those people who manage that are in a minority, so their results are not typical of the majority of the people who start, who end up giving up or cheating so often that they plan becomes worthless.

But I saw a commercial for cancer treatment centers today, and at the top of the screen was "No case is typical. You should not expect to experience these results." Going beyond the idea that it seems to make little sense that one would pay for something that you should not expect to work as advertised, as far as I could tell, the "these results" the disclaimer referred to were simply that these people felt they'd be respected, treated well, and were still alive. If that's really too much to expect, I don't think I understand the point.

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