The use of weasel words as disclaimers in superiority claims / Kamisah Ariffin …[et al.]

Ariffin, Kamisah and Razali, Azlini and Nikman, Khairunisa and Baharum, Norzie Diana and Abd Wahab, Rahimah (2013) The use of weasel words as disclaimers in superiority claims / Kamisah Ariffin …[et al.]. In: Prosiding KONAKA Konferensi Akademik (Sains Sosial) 2013, 28-29 Oktober 2013, Bukit Gambang Resort City, Gambang, Pahang, Malaysia.


Issues reported in the news regarding the false claims of products, particularly beauty and health products, suggest that consumers may have been misled and deceived by the claims made by the advertisements on the products. Data from a study on the print advertisements on the local complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in Malaysia shows that the most frequently used technique in claiming the superiority of these products is the use of weasel words. These words are able to make the products more appealing to the consumers. However. consumers may not realize that weasel words are empty words that function as
modifiers to qualify the claim. In fact, the words are cleverly used to negate the claim or as disclaimers to the claim. This paper focuses on the use of these words in advertisements in the local CAM print advertisements in Malaysia with the aim of educating consumers of the advertisers' trick of the trade. It is hoped that by
recognizing the types of weasel word and how it functions in a claim, consumers may be more discerning in evaluating the claim of the product.


Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Email / ID Num.
Ariffin, Kamisah
Razali, Azlini
Nikman, Khairunisa
Baharum, Norzie Diana
Abd Wahab, Rahimah
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Advertising
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Advertising > Malaysia
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance > Claims
Divisions: Universiti Teknologi MARA, Pahang > Jengka Campus
Event Title: Prosiding KONAKA Konferensi Akademik (Sains Sosial) 2013
Event Dates: 28-29 Oktober 2013
Page Range: pp. 383-391
Keywords: Advertisements, Complementary and alternative medicine, Advertising claims, Weasel claims
Date: 2013
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