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Statistical Errors In Advertising
Transcript of Statistical Errors In Advertising
In most of Colgate's advertisements they claim that, "80% of dentists prefer Colgate.
However, to find these results they conducted a phone survey and allowed dentists to choose multiple brands from a list.
Therefore, while 80% prefer Colgate, 90% or even 100% could also prefer a different brand.
They also say that they can reduce up to 98% of plaque, this means that it can reduce 1% and they're still telling the truth.
An ad by Centrum (in June 1997) claimed that "9 out of 10 Americans don't get all the nutrients they need from what they eat, and, in face, are missing out on important vitamins and minerals"
The data was taken from a survey conducted between 1976 and 1980 which found 9% of the particiapnts remembered eating the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables on the day of the survey. Therefore, indicating that 91% of Americans need Centrum.
BUT. This survey doesn't prove that those people were vitamin deficient. A one-day measurement is not a good indication of overall diet.
Airborne Herbal Supplement
After a second grade teacher's research, the herbal supplement, Airborne, became a national phenomenon after it appeared to finally provide the cure/prevention for the common cold.
Was the leading cold prevention supplement on the market for 10 years.
After the FTC inversitaged it, it was found that the anecdotal benefits of Airborne were just another example of the placebo effect.
Actually did nothing to boost the immune system or prevent colds.