By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An Australian filmmaker garnered a lot of attention on the internet when he posted videos about why burgers look so good in ads. Turns out it’s a process that involves brown paint, cotton balls, and carefully pinned lettuce leaves.

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We are all old and jaded enough to know that cleaning products won’t really give us a happy household, that our kids won’t really love us better because we buy happy meals, and that models won’t really be attracted to us because we drink beer. Well, maybe that one. Or at least once we drink the beer we assume we’re attractive to models. But, doesn’t the law say that ads have to be truthful?

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Not exactly.

The Federal Trade Commission is the governmental authority that ensures that ads aren’t false or misleading to consumers. Most of the charges against advertisers are in regard to the claims they make like a product’s nutritional content or health benefits, which must be based on scientific study. And, where products have before and after shots of what their product can do, they can face legal action if they’ve faked the results.

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But, just like your dating site profile picture is the best picture of you ever taken or ‘enhanced’, so, too, are products pictured in ads even if neither the product nor you, the consumer, are actually as great as it appears.