Lies, Lies, Lies

Let’s start with this advertisement, which I saw some time ago on MLB.com:

advertisement for jersey

Pay special note to the lines on the bottom there:

Any Name
Any Number
Any Team

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Maybe you could get a Ryne Sandberg with #23 on a modern Cubs’ jersey or something. That’d be sweet. Well… take a closer look. When you go to actually purchase this jersey, you are presented with a link to the complete customization rules. They read as follows:

Guidelines for Customization

  • League player names must match current team rosters and the team for which they currently play
  • Retired player names cannot be printed on the team’s jersey from which they retired
  • Both adult and youth jerseys hold up to 12 characters
  • Characters accepted: capital A-Z (name field only); 0-9 (number field only); spaces
  • Each space counts as one (1) character
  • Language deemed inappropriate, derogatory, or profane will not be accepted
  • If your selection does not meet all of the above criteria you will be prompted to start over

Let’s think about this for a few seconds… There were two pretty important things being said concerning this product. The first thing was from the ad saying you could get a jersey with “Any Name, Any Number, and Any Team”. The second thing is in this list of Customization rules, that says you can have a jersey made so long as it’s NOT a retired player (so not any name, I guess), a current player on a different team (so not any team then, either), over 12 characters (sorry, Arnold, looks like no Schwarzenegger jersey for you… once again not any name), or deemed profane (Mr. Asswipe, you’ll be getting no jersey, either. Anyone with a foreign character (I’m talking about you, Björk, you’re SOL too…

I know there’s a word for things like this… Hrm.. Maybe Dictionary.com can help us out a bit here:

lie (lI) noun :

  1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
  2. Something meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

Well, that seems to fit pretty well.

So I have a few suggestions to MLB.com on how they could improve their advertisement, and make it a bit more clear to others, like me, who might have misunderstood the current ad:

new ad new ad new ad

That is all…

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