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36 April 18 • 2013
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top for a minute and think
about the commercials we
encounter on TV, satellite
and broadcast radio. Now add the
infomercials and the fake news sites
that promote the product. These are
really "advertorials," but the words
are in such small print that only the
keen eyes of children who
can't yet read could actu-
ally see the disclaimer.
Day in and day out,
we are bombarded with
commercials for "natural
this and natural that;'
vitamins, acai berries,
novel methods to remove
hair, grow hair, enlarge
what we want grown and
shrink what we want
reduced. Credit for this
marvel of American marketing is
vested generally with the "Amazing
Ginsu Knife" that fueled 2 to 3 mil-
lion sales between 1979 and 1984.
No! No! is a hair removal product.
I have no idea if it works, is proven,
tested or anything for that matter.
The other day, I was watching TV,
and the words "No No" caught my
I didn't think, "Wow, what a cool
product!" Actually I thought back to
my childhood, when kids, like today,
were often cruel and a young child
was labeled with that name.
It also focused me on how much
of our economy is built on the
advertising and sale of
garbage — ranging
simply do not
be — to those that
actually cause harm.
My guess is that if
you ingest pills designed
to grow certain parts of
your body and others to
reduce other parts —your net
will be that your money was
wasted but you will probably not
be harmed for the long term.
If, however, you are duped into
pulling your funds out of an IRA to
invest online in gold or silver, you
may end up devastated by a scam
where you have lost your hard-earned
Hour after hour, I see commercials
attempting to induce people to call
800-numbers of outfits located in plac-
es unknown with promises that your
tax problems will be resolved for "pen-
nies on the dollar; your home "saved"
from foreclosure and your credit card
debt gone with our simple "program."
Calling these outfits leads
to a slick sales pitch, by sales-
people — not by licensed pro-
fessionals — and the results
usually prove to be a disaster.
Yes, the FTC does take
enforcement action against
such companies and false
product claims, but only on
a limited basis after serious
financial losses are sustained
by countless people. I some-
times say to myself, "Why
would CNN let such companies adver-
tise on its network?"
There is, however, a bigger problem.
If magically, all of the worthless
products and services that are pushed
at us through the media were to dis-
appear, what would happen to our
In order to sell a worthless product,
people are needed to design, engineer,
manufacture, package and ship it. And
of course — to market it, which means
artists, website developers, produc-
tion crews, advertising gurus, editors,
media buyers, media sellers and the
list goes on.
Without the advertising, how would
television survive? You simply can't
sustain operations without revenue.
We are talking about a lot of jobs
— something of great concern
these days. If the garbage prod-
ucts and services disappeared,
we'd lose a major chuck of
our economy and GNP.
A while ago, I lament-
ed in a column that
which drives our
jobs, is contrary to
our own interest to save
and limit debt. Garbage prod-
ucts are just another twist. We need
them for the economy — as long as we
say, "No, no. Not for me:'
Ken Gross is an attorney with Thav Gross
and host of The Financial Crisis Talk Center
show that airs weekly at 9 AM on Saturday
mornings on WDFN 1130 AM, "The Fan"
and 1:00 PM, Sundays, on MyTV20.