Mouseprint exposes the truth in ads

By Ashley Cook
October 20, 2006

Shane Evans

Mouseprint.org strives to expose the strings and catches in advertising fine print. Mouse print is the term used for that fine print in advertising, in a contract or on a product label, often buried out of easy sight. Mouse print changes the meaning of, or contradicts the primary claims or promises the producer makes. Mouseprint.org, a consumer education site, is produced by 29 year consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky. Mouse print, launched in 2006, spotlights the loopholes in the fine print of advertising.

“Mouse print can be useful when adding useless information to a product. However, if the mouse print contains information that will hinder the consumer, it should be stated clearly,” said Stephanie Saveoz, sophomore graphic design major. Mouseprint.org, updated every Monday, showcases newly discovered discreet mouse print on products in ad categories. Dawn Francis, assistant professor of English and communications, said, “No source that holds manufacturers accountable is a bad thing. Consumers should always have a watch dog acting in their best interest.” She believes we purchase products and services based upon their promotional claims very often believing that the manufacturer has our best interest at heart. “Brand loyal customers don’t read mouse print,” said Francis.

Mike Dignen, a senior graphic design major, said, “No, screw that. They shouldn’t use fine print because there is always some kinda scheme from it. It’s that one little detail that no one reads, that gets you.” He said, “For example, medicine commercials usually give the side effects in mouse print and it’s important that consumers know this.”

Under the Federal Trade Commission Act, advertising must be truthful and non- deceptive and advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims. According to www.ftc.gov. violations can be given a fine of up to $11,000 per violation of cease and desist orders.

Daniel Devine, a sophomore finance major, West Chester University, said, “The producers should make the print larger because some people don’t pay attention to it. But I do believe producers should be allowed to use mouse print because it’s informative.

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Ashley Cook

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