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Meaning of "on average up to"
07-18-2019, 07:24 PM
Post: #6
RE: Meaning of "on average up to"
(07-18-2019 03:43 PM)David Hayden Wrote:  I saw a TV commercial the other day for some prescription drug that softens nose hair or whatever. For those outside the USA, yes, drug companies are allowed to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers here. Anyway, the ad said that it's not a weight loss drug, but people taking it lost "on average up to 12 pounds."

My question for you is what on EARTH does "on average up to" mean? Keep in mind that companies must be able to back up their claims with clinical studies so this must be some actual statistic from the study. To me, "on average" is clearly a mean and "up to" is clearly a maximum, so "on average up to" sounds self-contradictory.

I have a theory, but I'm curious to read what my fellow nerds think.

And as an aside, I posted this question on facebook about a week ago. The comments are almost entirely about how companies advertise, the problems of advertising to consumers, etc. It appears that even my normally smart friends drew a blank on the statistic and really didn't care. Personally, I always look/listen for numbers in news and advertising and try to check them for sanity.

In the USA, it's only illegal to make false claims if you get caught. Smile Even if you do get caught, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will fine you a lot less (on average Smile) than you made by the false advertising so it pays to make those false claims.

Tom L
Cui bono?
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Messages In This Thread
RE: Meaning of "on average up to" - KeithB - 07-18-2019, 07:10 PM
RE: Meaning of "on average up to" - toml_12953 - 07-18-2019 07:24 PM
RE: Meaning of "on average up to" - Ken S - 07-19-2019, 03:48 AM

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