In Denise’s post about Paul Harvey and ACB, she made some good points about this issue. Now, Dr. Ronald E. Milliman responds on an ACB public forum, ACB-L. He says:
Re: I have now listened to the ad in question…
Wil, thank you very, very much for this URL with the link that plays the ad.
I have now listened to the ad several times, and I find it absolutely disgusting, and blatantly false and grossly misleading.
The Ad refers to a 79-year old fellow who was told that he was going blind.
It is implied that he is going blind do to Macular Degeneration, but it does not actually state that directly. The ad continues by stating that “his income would have ceased; his driving would have stopped; no reading; no television. He’s 79; someone would have to take care of him.”
Colleagues, at 79, it is very unlikely that he was working at any kind of regular job. Thus, why should his income cease? They certainly don’t cut off one’s social security or retirement benefits just because one becomes blind!! At age 79, it is questionable whether he belonged on the highways driving, but admittedly, there are many 79-year old people who are still driving. However, why should he stop watching TV? I know lots and lots of totally blind people who watch TV, in their own way, by listening to it, like I do and like many of you. Furthermore, I don’t know anyone with Macular Degeneration who doesn’t have some pretty useable eyesight.
Regardless, as for reading, all of us read books, magazines, newspapers, etc. Being blind does not stop anyone from reading. Admittedly, we don’t necessarily read with our eyes like sighted people do, but that certainly
doesn’t stop any of us.
The ad is clearly unethical at best and grossly misleading and blatantly false at worse, and yes, it is, indeed, very offensive.
This product, if it is all that great, could certainly be marketed very effectively without the misleading scare tactics this firm engages in as its way of selling its products.
Offensive to who? I think at last check, there was quite a lot of oppisition to the fact that ACB was going “to do something” about it. I am not offended. Denise is not offended. yes, the ad may be questionable in the way it went for the jugular of the bleeding hearts of elderly people, but you know what they say about marketing. Sex sells. Churches find this offensive. Richard Simmons advertised for WeightWatchers in a way that made fat people want to get their asses in to the nearest WeigghtWattcher center and shed those ugly pounds. Did the Fat Asses of America say anything? No, because there is no such thing, plus the shock value worked.
On the other points that Ron makes, he is right. blind people do watch TV in their own way. We use our ears to pick up on what’s going on. The fact the man is 79 years old leads me to think he is enjoying retirement and collecting his SSI. The ad made it look like he was a 49-year-old working a full schedule and supporting a family. Driving most likely was out of the question, anyway.
I would like to touch on the point of a statement in the ad, “Someone would have to take care of him.” Doesn’t most elderly people need someone to check up on them, to make sure they do not need anything? My parents are elderly, and they have a friend check up on them. This friend’s husband also takes care of their yard. My mom is 69 and my dad is 81, or will be in Octtober. Their eyesight is gradually going, so they aren’t able to see as they did before. Also, there are elderly people who do not need anyone to take care of them. the fact is some do, some don’t. That’s all that ad was going for, to shock the ones who were still living an independent life to get this vitamin before it’s too late.
Speaking of which, Denise went to look up the price for 100 capsules. the instructions said to take four capsules a day. For $40.93, you could get 100 capsules.
All that is minor in comparison of the fact that this ad was aimed to shock, nothing more, nothing less.
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