Undefined Terms Defined

Undefined Terms Defined

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Undefined Terms Defined
One of the plights of the modern consumer is the use of undefined terms in false advertising
 
 
But the fact that the National Organic Program was necessary in order to prevent the misuse of this term simply points out another critical element of the misuse of undefined terms. Advertising law does not clearly delineate which terms are defined and usable in advertising (see also manipulation of standards 
 
 
Some advertising laws were focused on attempting to eliminate the use of certain undefined terms, when such terms clearly had an element of implication to them, and that implication was also improper. For instance, undefined terms were a favorite advertising tactic of the tobacco industry, as such terms as "low tar" or "ultra-light" were used to describe cigarettes without meaning anything substantive.
 
 
The terms were pure advertising catchphrases, designed to lure customers into a purchase. The fact that the terms seemed to be substantive claims, however, is what primarily motivated advertising law makers to attempt to remedy the situation with adjustments to advertising laws.
 
In today's world, there are still many undefined terms which are used by businesses in order to better manipulate customers. "Light" stands out as one of the primary such terms, used because of its variety of possible meanings.
 
 
To the consumer, "light" could imply anything from "low calories" to "less thickness," and advertisers have no qualms about taking advantage of such variable meanings. Unless advertising laws are changed in order to better regulate terms such as "light," their use will likely continue for a long time to come, not least because they are still effective.
 
 
Specific terms, such as "organic," will always likely encounter some kind of block through advertising law, as they refer to elements which should clearly be policed. But as long as there are other terms out there which cannot be lawfully defined, because to do so would be to infringe on aspects of free speech, then there will always be undefined terms used to manipulate consumers through advertising.

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