Friday, July 11, 2008

The fine print

It is said that Indians speak rapidly. Even so, the consumer boom of the past few years had brought into being a new class of quick speakers - those who speak the fine print. To protect market participants in recently decontrolled insurance markets, the regulators for insurance and for mutual funds imposed quite a bit of mandatory declarations on any advertisement material - "Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation", "Mutual funds are subject to market risks", "Please read offer document carefully before investing" being the most commonly used phrases.

It is funny enough to hear these words running into each other so as to take up less than 1.5 seconds of a 10 second radio ad spot. But the virus spread to other places, too; the neighbourhood grocer started putting in signs saying "Potatoes free (conditions apply)" and spotting the fine print, whether in the written or the spoken form, has become a challenge.

This sign on the wall of the LR Swami building at the intersection of Cenotaph Road and Mount Road seems to be predicting a day when those 3 little whispered words would be followed by four others, said in a much softer tone - and if you are used to picking up what those "Mutual funds blah, blah, blah" announcements mean, you can surely catch on to what 'Terms and Conditions Apply'!


LVISS said...

Conditions for potatoes ,perhaps the seller may ask the buyer to perform some somersaults before giving it free.

Anonymous said...

:-) .... well spotted

Shantaram said...

>> Ravindran>> And I will, I will!

>> Ram>> Thanks! And I see you've beaten me to the Pondy Bazaar flower sellers!