When we represent our products it is imperative that the artist
portrays the product correctly and accurately. The picture to the right is a retail package from a large international company that sells many different items including food. What is being portrayed are “large” shrimp (kind of an oxymoron), and in large print highlighted in red the package says 31 – 40 shrimp per pound. The question is how many shrimp are in the package. The answer is 26. Whoa! Wait a minute, it says 31 to 40 shrimp. Oh yes, that is per pound. How much does the package weigh? 12 ounces (3/4 of a pound). Where do I find the weight, down in the lower left corner of the package in a font about 1/5 the size of the per pound numbers. Actually, this is perfectly legal, although it may be somewhat deceptive. Ok, our artists do not sell shrimp. But we do describe our products. I work in metal and stone (cabochon and faceted gemstones). There are federal government regulations that control what I can say in my descriptions, but not all products are covered by regulation.
As artists and as sales persons to consumers of our products, we need to be very careful what we say when describing our products. For an example, if you are knitting and your product is made with acrylic yarn, you would not describe the material as Angora wool. In this vein, it would also be inappropriate to use the term Angora in describing the product, even with a disclaimer, like the shrimp above. Fortunately, I have found the product descriptions in our shops, extremely accurate. There is one vendor who tells you up front that the product is being described with the terms that she was told when purchasing the components of her art/craft product.
This blog is just a simple reminder to all, don’t say something that is not absolutely true and ethical. Just because something is legal, does not mean it is ethical and not deceptive.