One of the primary ways to use statistics is through advertising. On the one hand, numbers can help a supplier of goods and services convince customers of their value. However, it works only if the numbers are used properly. On the other hand, misinterpretation of information can be used to deceive customers. It may work somehow, but eventually, customers will feel the deception and choose another company to contact. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how statistics are used in fake ads and what they lead to.
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Here is an example of statistics that can be interpreted in different ways: “the revenue of the U.S. cosmetic industry is estimated to amount to about 49.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2019” (Ridder, 2020, par. 1). First, it gives customers some information detached from particular cases and events. Suppliers can see connections between completely unrelated factors, drawing the wrong conclusions.
As a result, customers can feel that they have to start a business in a particular area, in this case, cosmetics (Viscusi et al., 2018). They spend money on poor quality products and lose from it. Second, incorrect use of these statistics can lead to the fact that customers stop trusting the company that uses it. They see that marketers are trying to use any means, including deceit, to attract an audience. Undoubtedly, in the long term, this negatively affects the reputation of the organization. Customers stop trusting them and go to those who can be trusted and who use reliable data. In advertising, the numbers mentioned above can be used as follows:
“In 2019, the U.S. cosmetics industry generated nearly $50 billion in revenue. The market is huge, which means that you can become a part of it. Its amount allows everyone to dive in and get some revenue. With our cosmetics franchise, you can open stores throughout the city and attract hundreds of customers. We can help you find the audience and launch ads to start earning money right away. This is your chance to make women beautiful and happy.”
Indeed, the statistics themselves look quite convincing, but they do not reveal the real facts. The truth is that, over the past three years, the revenue of the cosmetics industry has been gradually declining, which may indicate negative changes in the market. Therefore, it can be a rather dangerous niche for investments. However, ad creators do not report this and do not use the data correctly. One of the possible negative consequences is a thoughtless purchase of a franchise, the creation of an unprofitable business, and losses. Thus, even though statistics allow people to validate research, track market trends, discuss important economic changes, and perform other significant actions, they may be truly misleading. They can cause unnecessary expenses and other negative outcomes.
Another major negative factor in the misuse of statistics is justice. Indeed, lies can reach such proportions that they affect other companies or those providing statistics. This can lead to subpoenas, public hearings, and other complex processes. Undoubtedly, this will affect the company’s financial condition, reputation, and relationship with other companies. Eventually, even if they wanted to attract customers, they will end up broke. Thus, it is necessary to use a statistic in the right way. It will help save reputation, attract truly loyal clients, and stay fair.
Ridder, M. (2020). Revenue of the cosmetic & beauty industry in the U.S. 2002-2020. Statista. Web.
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Viscusi, W. K., Harrington, J. E., & Sappington, D. E. M. (2018). Economics of regulation and antitrust. MIT Press.