Posts Tagged ‘deception’

Subway’s ‘FOOTLONG’ is a description, not a measurement

January 28, 2013


Subway footlongYears ago on a cold day I bought a hot dog from a vendor outside Philadelphia’s Franklin Field, and after biting into it and getting a chill in my teeth I asked the boy who sold it how he could call it a HOT dog when it wasn’t even warm. He responded, “It’s just the NAME, not the TEMP-A-CHOOR.”

Two years ago the boy’s remark was topped by a spokesman for then-Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ), who explained an outrageous lie that the Senator had told about Planned Parenthood, ‘his remark was not intended to be a factual statement.

And now Subway (Australia), whose footlong sandwiches have been discovered to be only eleven inches long, gave their explanation: ” ‘SUBWAY FOOTLONG’ is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.”

(Thanks to New York Post for the photo)



World Cup: How to stop the kind of cheating that got undeserving Netherlands to the final

July 9, 2010

Here we go again. A World Cup elimination game decided by an illegal play. But this one is of a different character than when Uruguay striker Luis Suarez used his hands to slap away a sure game-winning goal by Ghana. Suarez’s action was forthright, against the rules, duly penalized, but smart. Bad for the game, but not something one could brand as unethical. I proposed a rule change that would eliminate such plays.

But when Netherlands star Arjen Robben fell to the ground, writhing in pretended pain from pretended contact from the Brazilian defender (diving, in world footballspeak), he cheapened the game. The referee was fooled by Robben’s deception into awarding Holland a free kick, which was converted into the deciding goal in a 2- 1 win that ended Brazil’s hopes of another championship.

Robben cheated, and it got his team into the semi-finals against Uruguay, who they beat, 3-2. Now only Spain stands between the Dutch and the championship. It’ll be sad for the game if the Dutch win, their trophy forever tarnished by the way they won it.

There are three ways to reduce the incentive for players to dive: (more…)

Is it OK to buy a fake Rolex, Prada, or Burberry?

July 1, 2010

Rolex watches, Prada satchels, and Burberry scarves are nice, but not that nice. For far less than these cost you can get similar items that keep time better, hold more, and keep your neck warmer. Rolex-, Prada-, and Burberry-labeled goods are so desirable because they are positional goods. That’s the economists’ term for products whose value lies in their scarcity.

You can buy a genuine Rolex for $3960 at, or you can buy a knock-off at for $115. Or on the street for $10. You won’t be able to tell the difference. The price comparisons for Prada and Burberry are similar. The real things sell for $1398 and $150, respectively, while the fakes go for $110 and $18 on the internet, much less on the street.

So what’s a person to do? You can fool everybody for a tenth the cost. And you won’t be alone: lots of people do it, even brag about their ten dollar Rolex. But “everybody does it” doesn’t make it ethical. The law gives Rolex, Prada, and Burberry exclusive use of their designs and labels. It’s called their intellectual property. You’d be stealing the intellectual property of the real brand. An ethical person doesn’t do that.

But maybe there’s another reason to shun knock-offs (more…)