The Old Coot can spot a snow job

They just keep coming! On TV! On the radio! In newspapers and magazines! An endless stream of propaganda, promises, half-truths, outright LIES! No! No! No! I’m referring to the political ads that come at us ad-nauseum. I’m talking about the ads from billion-dollar corporations that have pulled a fast one on their customers and the public.

Take Wells Fargo, as a for instance. First, they took advantage of new customers, by signing them up (without their knowledge) for services they didn’t want nor asked for (3,500,000 fake accounts). Many of these customers were charged thousands of dollars in fees, penalties and high interest rates. Some went bankrupt. Many, received miserable credit scores. When Wells Fargo got caught, the CEO and the executive staff pleaded ignorance, though they set the impossible goals. They threw their middle managers, supervisors and front-line line employees under the bus. Blamed them! 

Eventually the truth came out and Wells Fargo was fined one billion dollars and ordered to make restitution to customers in the amount of $142 million. None of the senior executives went to the woodshed. Now, we are forced to endure their self-serving full page and two-page advertisements in major newspapers and magazines. And, to watch their TV ads showing how clever Wells Fargo was when they transported gold in stagecoaches back in the 1800’s. The robbers got a safe full of rocks. The gold was hidden elsewhere and was saved. Implying, our money is safe if entrusted to Wells Fargo. 

They all do this, the big corporations that misbehave and then lie about it until they get caught. Then comes the ads. “We slipped up.” – “We made a mistake.”  – “We didn’t know.” – “We’re sorry.” Blah, blah blah. Facebook lied. Did their customers wrong. Sold their data, didn’t protect their identities and now are sorry and making things right. LOL. Spectrum came to town, promised the moon and quietly raised rates and found new ways to charge us for stuff that once was free. 

The truth, I discovered years ago, is the more they tell us how good they are, the more they lie. Unfortunately, I have to keep reminding myself that this is so. The ads are that good. These ad campaigns, these false image portrayals follow an old principle. “A lie told often enough becomes the truth,“ Vladimir Lenin. “A lie repeated enough seems truthful,” Joseph Goebbels. A little scary, isn’t it?  

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