Letters to the Editor

Readers deserve better on advertising claims

The Island Packet should cease publishing advertisements clearly intended to deceive the reading public.

A recent ad was cleverly set up to give the visual impression that these were legitimate "news stories" describing miraculous therapeutic results, even to the extent of making attribution to phony news sources, rather than pure advertising gimmicks for products that are probably useless.

It's true that at the very top and bottom of the page there were barely readable disclaimers of "advertisement," but the type was far less legible (smaller and far more faint) than the rest of the material, and in the least visible print (requiring a magnifying glass for me), it stated, "not evaluated by the FDA." This means that these pills were not approved for sale as drugs by the FDA because there is no proof that they are effective.

Such an ad is clearly intended to mislead the public and should not appear as designed in any legitimate news source.

I'm sure that strictly speaking this ad might pass some federal legal test for advertising purported, but unapproved, drugs by including the barely visible fine-print disclaimer, but frankly, it doesn't pass either the "eye test" or "the smell test."

The Packet's publisher should exercise journalistic and ethical professional responsibility on behalf of its readers and not publish such deceptions.

Karl EngelmanHilton Head Island

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