Sunday, July 27, 2008
How to lie without lying
IN THE WORLD OF ADVERTISING free speech and artistic license allow the wolf to dress as a sheep, and no law will stop him. It’s bad enough advertisers lie with words and are rarely caught, and by omission, and nobody notices; but the worst lies are implied lies told by cartoon mascots and actors playing fictitious characters acting out fantasy situations which, we are led to believe, are somehow connected to the how the advertised product actually works in the real world. These fictions transmit impressions intended to be received as fact – and yet more insidiously, to bypass our rationality by evoking desired emotions and linking them to the product, company or belief being sold. How do you accuse a fictitious character of lying?