Angry New Yorker

Friday, January 02, 2004
Happy New Year to all! I decided to start the new year off with a bit of commercial analysis, literally. A commercial that's heavily played on the radio here is an ad for "The Club" which, if you somehow don't know, is an anti-theft device that you lock to your steering wheel in the hope that a miscreant won't steal your car.

So far so good. But the latest Club commercials make numerous, what I believe are, spurious claims and leaps of logic that don't survive scrutiny. For starters, the commercials say that in areas where 50% of drivers have the club, auto thefts are down 50% with the express linkage that the drop in thefts are in direct causation to use of The Club. Oh? The commercial goes on to make the linkage even more explicit saying that if 90% of cars used the club then auto thefts would be down 90%. Again false linkage, and the commercial even recognizes it because they say, basically, that if you use the Club a thief will move on to a car without the club. Well, then, even if 90% of cars used the club, and even if the club actually did prevent theft, one could rationally expect the remaining 10% of cars lacking the club would be stolen in a greater proportion and make up for the drop in overall car thefts that might be attributed to use of the Club. In short, use the club, don't use the club, but there's no way the club is responsible for all auto theft prevention as the commercials state.

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