It's the Asterisk, Stupid*

This sign has irked me for the past few years whenever I drive past it. Finally I snapped a quick photo with my phone. (Click to enlarge, sorry about the poor image quality, etc.) You may not know from the sign, but it’s a used car dealer. Of course. You expect a used car dealer to use an asterisk, don’t you? It’s a cliché. This one uses a bracketed “o.a.c.” for the same purpose. Here’s what we say (oh, but here’s what we actually mean).

Despite the factual disclosure, I file this under lying to your customers. Hook them with the headline, misleading as it is, and only give them the facts when you’ve got them reeled in. But why say something and then completely negate it in the fine print? It only proves you’re being disingenuous. With the fine print, the sign in the photo says absolutely nothing about financing… but it does say something about the business.

*Do they think we’re that stupid? Here’s a challenge: try advertising without asterisks. Tell the truth.