You may win in a court of law but lose when judged by the public. Goodbye trust, perhaps forever.
We'll look at three recent examples of guilt by omission.
TrialWould you like a free two-week trial of a dashboard that monitors your social media success? The vendor omitted two key items that might affect your decision:
- the price, which starts at $500 per month
- free options like PostRank (which Google just bought), Klout, Peerindex,, Google Alerts and Google Analytics
TravelA friend has been applying for jobs that require travel, typically a maximum of 20%. One position showed 20% as a minimum. Surely that's a typo. No. That position required travel 20% to 100% of the time. Imagine how a casual reader would feel about getting duped.
LabelIf someone infers what you imply, who's to blame?
Campbell's implied their healthy tomato soup had less sodium but has the same 480mg as regular. The big difference is in the price, which jumps from $0.99 to $1.49. Hello lawsuit and bad publicity.
You might get clever with your wording but potential clients are tough to trick and can be vindictive when fooled. They now have outlets to make their views known.
Soup label conundrum
Better take the long way home. Shortcuts can lead to dead ends.
- Lawsuit: Campbell's "regular" and "25% less sodium" tomato soup both contain 480mg of sodium (consumerist.com, April 2011)
- Zero nutritional difference between Campbell's "healthy" tomato soup and regular, just higher price (consumerist.com, Mar 2010)
- Google Alerts: track what matters to you
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