Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's the best blurb ever!

Two recent notes in the NY Times about the problem of blurb abuse -- taking selected quotes from a review to use in promotional materials that make it appear the review was much more positive than it was.

In today's paper, the EC takes on the issue as a problem of false advertising:

New Law to Protect Critics From Being Misquoted

The European Commission has passed legislation that would keep bad reviews from looking good, the London newspaper The Independent reported. The measure, to take effect in December, will make it illegal for advertisers to misquote reviewers by taking a positive word or phrase from a theater review if it gives a misleading sense of the whole review. The Unfair Commercial Practices Directive bars advertising that includes “false information” or any claim that “deceives or is likely to deceive the consumer” and thus “causes or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.” Helen Kearns, the commission’s spokeswoman on consumer affairs, said the measure would be “policed on a case-by-case basis” by the Office of Fair Trading. “It should apply to misleading advertising right across the board,” she added, “from airline tickets to theater tickets.”

And, just a couple of days earlier, an article described how pervasive mis-blurbing blurb abuse has become in book promotion.

Of course in movie world there are so many "critics" who are happy to call the "Are We Done Yets" of the world Oscar-worthy, "wonderful family fun!" or "one of the best of the year!!" if they can get invited to junkets and see their names in the ads. I'd love to see that considered false advertising.


Anonymous said...

That's going to be awfully hard to police, except in the most egregious cases.

Sony Ericsson Takes Over Title said...
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