Unsubstantiated Claims!!! Learn about them, so you don’t become a sucker.
I found this gem on http://www.foundshit.com/vintage-cola-ads/
If you can’t pick out the writing, it says this:
How soon is too soon?
Not soon enough. Laboratory tests over the last few years have proven that babies who start drinking soda during that early formative period have a much higher chance of gaining acceptance and “fitting in” during those awkward pre-teen and teen years. So do yourself a favor. Do your child a favor. Start them on a strict regimen of sodas and other sugary carbonated beverages right now, for a lifetime of guaranteed happiness.
My favorite part is that they did laboratory tests for only a few years and found that drinking cola as a baby helps you in your pre-teen and teen years. Their labs clearly have a time machine.
I call Bulls**t!
This is an extreme example of unsubstantiated claims in advertising. Sure, they wouldn’t get away with this now-a-days. But the thing is, advertisers have become even more clever. They word things in ways that you might not understand, or they allude to claims, instead of making them obvious.
This doesn’t just occur in advertising, however. It occurs in gyms, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and anywhere someone can possibly make a buck, or just sound smart, by convincing you that something can do something. When in fact, it does nothing (or worse).
Be careful what you believe.
Unsubstantiated basically means something is not backed up by any sort of proof. It might sound right, it might make sense at first, and there might even be some sound logic and reasoning behind it. But there is no proof! You can make a suggestion, or explain an idea you have, but to say “this does that” is very black and white, and you must have proof to say it. Sadly, these things are believed very quickly by people who are afraid, or desperate.
For example: lists of cancer facts. You might get these in an email, or see it on a website. Most of those ‘facts’ are either wrong or very unlikely. They state these ‘facts’ but do not cite any sources or references that you can check for validity. Yet the fact is many, if not most people actually believe them to be true. There was a study done on it (on the fact that people believe it despite there being no proof at all). Check it out.
In many cases, people are smart enough to figure out when something sounds a little too good to be true. However, I suggest even those of you who think you are very clever to think critically and look carefully at any claim you come across, whether it’s from someone who has something to gain from the claim, or not (the person could just be a fan).
It’s cool to postulate and discuss theories and ideas about anything that you find interesting. It’s even cool to decide for yourself that something makes just so much sense, that you are going to try it. It’s cool to experiment!
However, it is NOT cool to make claims that something does something without having proof that it does. It is also NOT cool to believe in something just because you read it somewhere, an expert said it, or ‘everyone does it, so it must work’. Look for some proof!
Anyone else have any good examples of unsubstantiated claims?