|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
-- Dave Barry, "Garbage Scan"
The faster the required legal disclaimers are read, the happier the advertisers will be on average.
No advertiser wants to waste expensive air time on legal disclaimers. But they are required in some situations, either by regulations or to deflect litigation. So, the voice-over guy reads off the copy at speeds that could make your throat sore. In modern times, he's often assisted by a digital audio edit that removes pauses between words. Even more recently, it has become popular to hire someone with a relatively low-volume voice and have him read extremely fast, while what he's saying is being obscured beyond all hell by some form of background music, which is usually rather loud. And the rest of the ad is usually absurdly loud.
Common in ads for prescription drugs, ads for new cars -- specifically, the dealer financing or lease plans that come with the cars -- and any campaign featuring a promotional contest. Related to the Unreadable Disclaimer, which is more common on TV because it is effectively faster than the speed of sound.
Rattling Off Legal still crops up in Radio commercials. Frequently.
Sometimes radio commercials will lampshade this by having the person in the commercial say that their lawyers have to say a few things or something similar, usually addressing the lawyer in a derogative tone. This is usually more annoying than the rattling.
Even radio station identifications have fallen victim to this trope as of late, where stations not actually licensed to the major city in their metropolitan area say the actual city of license like it's a mark of shame that their station is actually licensed to Lake Success, NY (which major New York City station WKTU is licensed to serve) rather than New York itself; Lake Success is rushed through like it's in the middle of nowhere, while NEW YORK! is emphasized much more.