Affirmative Disclosure

Posted in Marketing and Strategy Terms, Total Reads: 1355
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Definition: Affirmative Disclosure

Affirmative disclosure, in advertising, encompasses providing the consumers information about the negative or harmful effects of the product/ service in the advertisement. Such a disclosure is done in accordance with government regulations and is generally not desired by the advertiser. The disclosure is not just limited to attributes of the product/service but may also include relevant information about offers made in the advertisement especially in case of exchange offers, sweepstakes, mystery rewards, money back offers and gift vouchers.


The objective is to protect the consumers against fraud and unethical marketing tricks. Although natural competition and market mechanisms often ensure consumers are well-informed, there are situations where these do not ensure consumers are informed of all the product/service characteristics that can influence/manipulate their purchase decision. Moreover, affirmative disclosure also protects marketers from future liability claims. Since affirmative disclosure can trigger significant change in the attitude as well as behavioral intention towards a product/service, marketers are often wary of such disclosures.


One of the most common forms of affirmative disclosure is as seen on cigarette ads. The government has made it mandatory to include a statutory warning against smoking: “Cigarette Smoking is Injurious to Health” on packaging as well as promotional ads. Below is an example of such an advertisement.

 

The ‘terms and conditions’ block in promotional offers is yet another form of affirmative disclosure widely used. Most food products clearly spell out information about allergenic ingredients like peanuts, eggs etc. Moreover, products that claim timed results or better results than their competitors must include information as to the process of testing. If Fair & Lovely claims fairer skin in 7 days in its advertisements, it has include details of test results conducted.

 

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