Dubious advertising claims…or *are* they?

Try putting it out. Go on.

Try putting it out. Go on.

I thought this was a ludicrous thing to say the first time I read it. Come come, surely you cannot expect us to believe that this charcoal will never go out? What, ever? What if I deprive it off oxygen? Inundate it with water?

Then I realised that there’s a big difference between going out and burning out. So it’s not as absurd a claim as I first thought. And me a copywriter. Tsk. Although you could be picky and ask what kind of crap charcoal it is that does go out.

Specially formulated for washing-up that just goes on and on.

Specially formulated for washing-up that just goes on and on.

This is more like it. Fairy Liquid is historically supposed to last longer than all of its rivals, but the makers of this washing-up liquid, found in our Greek villa, clearly want to muscle in to the top of the ‘longest lasting’ spot and stay there.

Of course, the Greek writing around the logo may contain a sneaky caveat. It may read ‘Just because it’s called ENDLESS doesn’t mean it won’t run out at some point’.

It reminds me of the song Shirt by the marvellous Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. At 3:47 you hear Vivienne Stanshall saying ‘Good morning, can I have this shirt cleaned express, please?’ The lady shopkeeper (played by Neil Innes?) says ‘That’ll be three weeks, dearie.’ An exasperated Stanshall says ‘Three weeks? But the sign outside says 59-Minute Cleaning!’ Then comes the most beautiful, argument-settling response in the history of customer complaints. ‘Yes, that’s just the name of the shop, love.’

So they could call it Endless and justify the name on the grounds that it’s just a name. After all, who takes the name Fairy Liquid literally?

Postscript: There being no dishwasher at the villa, it was a close call as to whether the washing-up liquid would last as long as our holiday. But on the penultimate day, the maid partly replenished the bottle from an enormous tank of the stuff kept under the sink. So technically it turned out to be endless after all. Not that I spent my holiday obsessing about washing-up liquid…

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