By Scott Sumner
[Update: Check out the comment section. It turns out my suspicions were justified. Several people cited hearing aids as another example.]
I recently saw an ad on the internet that caught my eye. The product was a sleep aid, described as a treatment for snoring that allows for a more restful sleep:
This got my attention for several reasons. First, the detailed description in the ad sounds almost identical to a product that I own. It physically moves your lower jaw forward when you sleep, making it easier to breathe However, my device is aimed at addressing sleep apnea, whereas this ad doesn’t even mention any benefit in reducing sleep apnea. Second, my device costs thousands of dollars, whereas this item is priced at $65.
[Disclaimer: I know nothing about the effectiveness of this device, and thus don’t take this post as a recommendation.]
Here’s a question for people that know more about this than I do. Is it possible that this company is not allowed to advertise the device as treatment for sleep apnea? The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech, but for reasons that I’ve never understood the courts exempt commercial speech from that protection.