I think I'm a good person, but doesn't everybody?
The 2007 Gallup Poll of ethical professions put advertising third from the bottom* just above telemarketers and used car salesmen and several ranks below lawyers. Lawyers, people. What the fuck do you have to do to be perceived as sleazier than them?
Glad you asked.
For those not in the business, the above ad is called a testimonial. The idea is that consumers are more apt to trust other consumers, like Frank and Mary from New York. The only problem being that Frank and Mary didn't actually earn $1,080/week, use mydishbiz or live in New York. Also, they weren't Frank and Mary. Or alive.
Ben and Catherine Mullany's family was pretty upset to see their loved ones' picture used in a bogus testimonial, but they might have just been hypersensitive over the whole murdered-on-their-honeymoon thing.
Of course, that ad is significantly downmarket from the kind of work we do, but this week's comic was based on a real conversation. I've written enthusiastically about cars I've never driven, food I wouldn't eat and one particularly memorable razor that cut my throat like Sweeney Todd. That fact that my name wasn't attached doesn't change the fact that they were endorsements.
*The 2008 Gallup Poll ranked us higher, but I selectively withheld that information to make a more convincing argument. Case in point.
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