by Jay Johansen | May 22, 2004
Car dealers around here routinely run advertising promotions with the tag line, "No reasonable offer will be refused!"
What does this mean? It sounds like it means something until you think about it.
Of course they don't say, "No offer at all will be refused." If someone came in and offered $12.37 for a brand new Cadillac, I wouldn't expect them to sell it to them for that. So they qualify it with the word "reasonable". But ... who decides what is a "reasonable offer"? I presume the dealer does. So they're saying that they won't refuse any offer that sounds like a good deal to them. Like, duh. When they're not running a promotion like this, do they then reject reasonable offers? In fact they're promising absolutely nothing
A radio ad for a car dealer that I liked even more: They talked about how they would arrange financing, concluding with the statement, "No qualified buyer will be refused. Guaranteed!", followed by the dramatic sound effect of a hammer banging on metal. (From that description it sounds more like it would be an annoying sound than a dramatic one, but trust me, it came across as dramatic on the radio.) This sounds like a very re-assuring promise for someone who needs financing, especially for someone who has had trouble getting financing. But wait! They don't say "No buyer will be refused"; they say "No qualified buyer will be refused". What does it mean to be "qualified"? Presumably it means that whoever is putting up the money for the loan is satisfied that this person can and will pay the money back with interest. So they're promising that they will do business with you as long as you can convince them that they will make money on the deal. Guaranteed!
© 2004 by Jay Johansen