Why do consumers need things spelled out to a ridiculous degree | Down the Mall

BUSY: Down the Mall says it cannot be easy selling stuff to people – especially at Christmas time.
BUSY: Down the Mall says it cannot be easy selling stuff to people – especially at Christmas time.

It cannot be easy selling stuff to people – especially at Christmas time.

There’s the crowds, the advertising, the staffing, the re-stocking – oh, did we say advertising?

Advertising was originally intended to grab a fickle public’s attention for long enough to make them interested in buying what you’re selling.

But in these days of duelling lawyers, advertisers have much broader responsibilities.

Down the Mall received the Bendigo Spotlight catalogue in the letterbox this week.

It was the usual delight of Christmas-y stuff, but we were intrigued by this scrumptious item.

“Fifty per cent off a benchtop rotating pizza oven - $49 (was $99.99) *Pizza not included …”

You wonder if this last condition was sparked by a customer coming back to the store to complain that he’d been cheated out of his $99 pizza.

Spell it out

There are entire PhD studies into why consumers need things spelled out to a ridiculous degree.

As Henry Ford once said, no-one went broke through underestimating the republic.

Which is why we see things such as:

“Instructions: Open packet. Eat nuts. Warning, may contain nuts.” – On a Jetstar peanut snack pack.

Just to really make sure: “Ingredients 100 per cent peanuts. Allergy advice – contains peanuts.

“Not suitable for nuts and sesame allergy sufferers due to the methods that are used in the manufacture of this product.”

“Contains dairy product.” – On a milk carton.

“You could be a winner. No purchase necessary. Details inside.” – on a pack of Fritos snacks.

“Warning: contents may be hot.” – on Macca’s coffee cups.

“Keep upright.” – Errr, on the bottom of a fruit juice carton.

“This toy does not actually fly.” – On a Harry Potter toy quidditch broom.

“Some assembly required.” – On a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle.