Optimism Must Be Educated Out Of The Populace Or Regulated

Dustbury links to a story about the Feds worrying about the uninformed masses who must be shepherded: Study: Nearly Half Of Consumers Fooled By “Up To” Claims In Advertisements:

The Federal Trade Commission recently commissioned a study that looked out how consumers perceive and comprehend the “up to” conditional in advertisements.

The researchers used different versions of an ad for windows — one that stated that the windows were “proven to save up to 47% on heating and cooling bills,” and one that simply stated, “proven to save 47%.”

Of those who looked at the “up to” version, 45.6% mistakenly said the ad promised to save 47%. Meanwhile, only 58.3% of consumers who saw the unconditional version said the ad promised to deliver 47% savings. According to the FTC, the small difference between the two results indicates that the use of “up to” did little-to-nothing to change consumers’ perception that the ad was promising the maximum level of performance.

Friends, Americans, and countrymen under the DREAM thing, this results from the Lake Woebegone Effect and self-esteem based educational curricula. People all believe they are better than average, better looking than average, smarter than average, and in the tops in whatever they’re measured. Whether they are or not.

So of course they believe that the absolute best possible result of a product applies to them. Some people, not just in Chicago, spend their winters thinking the Cubs might win the World Series. People like blood sausage, too.

Now that the FTC has discovered this fact, what does the FTC want to do about it? Solve the problem of optimism, no doubt.

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