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8:49am on Sunday, 3rd September, 2006:

False Advertising


For some reason, I had a few moments to myself on platform 2 of Chelmsford station the other day. I found myself standing in front of a large poster advertising a new Landrover. Here's a photo:

I couldn't get it all in, because I'd have fallen off the platform if I'd tried (not that there was any danger that a train might come and squish me...). I got in the interesting part, though — a partly-ruined Middle-Eastern village set spectacularly on a hill. It's very impressive — it really makes you want to go there (for which, of course, you'll need a new Landrover).

Except, the more I looked, the more I noticed similarities in certain buildings:

Can those ruined buildings really be identical?

Yes, they absolutely are identical. In other words, it's a Photoshop job. The real landscape doesn't look anything like that (although quite what it does look like I'm not sure — it looks a lot like what they have in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula, but as for which actual hilltop village it is, in which actual country, I don't know).

So although advertisers are not allowed to photoshop their vehicles to mislead the public, they're allowed to associate them with misleading images?

There are probably advertisements for real estate in Yemen featuring under-sized pictures of Landrovers in front of them so they look bigger.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).