Daryl Ilbury

Hey, let’s drop some acid on the bunny’s skin!

In Eish!, Fools on December 17, 2011 at 9:52 am

A sign that could be seen on a bottle of sulphuric acid

Here’s an idea to put the fun back into Christmas shopping – don’t buy anything, just read the labels and then put the stuff back.

And what are you looking for? Misleading claims.

In order for a claim on a consumer product to be misleading, it doesn’t need to be proven false, it just needs to prove that the claim has no scientific foundation. Case in point: “dermatologically tested”. This appears on so many skin care products, and the assumption by the consumer is that it is everything from safe to put on their skin to not having been tested on animals.

Dermatology is that branch of medicine that focuses on the study and diagnosis of skin disorders; so the assumption is that if something has been “dermatologically tested”, then streams of specialists wearing lab costs and swirling fluids in conical flasks have submitted the potion to intense scientific scrutiny.

But if this was the case then you’d find the procedure buried deep in a research paper.

But it’s not, it’s plastered all over the packaging…and that’s the ringing bell. This is all about marketing…it’s all about ‘spin’ (market speak for ‘bullshit’).

In market research speak, if I drop acid on the nose of a bunny and it writhes in pain, then I have “dermatologically tested” it. It didn’t pass, but it was tested…on skin. Those “89% of women who agree their skin felt smoother” after using a product, were probably a handful of women from the company’s marketing department.

Be a critical consumer this Christmas.

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