Arun Prabhudesai has written an amusing post at Trak.in, his business blog, about a gel and ballpoint pen advertisement that appeared on the front page of the Times of India.
It seems that Flair Pens, an India-based writing instrument manufacturer, ran a quarter-page ad for its Writo-meter pen claiming that it is the "World's Longest Writing Pen."
However, the claim had an asterisk on it which referred to a note, in fine print, that clarified it as "Probably the Longest Writing Gel Pen & Ball Pen in the World". (Emphasis added.)
Prabhudesai said it was an example of an advertiser trying to fleece customers.
It essentially means that there is absolutely no truth in what they have advertised. They have not bothered to check, neither have they confirmed it from any independent study.
Think again – they have in BIG bold put it as the World’s Longest writing pen and then they have added “probably” in tiny winy letters.
This is just an example, but most of the today’s ads are on similar lines. They claim something that is not true and mask it with fine letters !
The company's website takes the claim even further. According to the product description, the Writo-meter ball pen will write up 10,000 meters. To prove it, they've even printed measurements on the barrel showing how much "distance" is left in the pen as the ink level falls.
(As you can see, measurements on the Writo-meter gel only go up to 2,500 meters.)
The site doesn't say how the company arrived at those numbers.