Dubious advertising of the week comes from Philips, the once-great Dutch manufacturer of electrical stuff. Visitors to this organ's previous incarnation will remember that their shoddy goods got the dreaded fumie thumbs-down, but now they are preying on the average consumer's innumeracy to sell their tat.
Shopping for an electric toothbrush on Saturday, I found the Philips display in one of Mr. Li's fine emporia. Next to the tooth brushes themselves were a thing called a water pic and then an "AirFloss". In large type on the AirFloss's card the number "99%" leapt out. Jolly good, I thought, as a casual reader might, they must be claiming to remove 99% of everything between your teeeth. Not so.
In smaller print, it said that it would remove "99% more" plaque than normal brushing, which in old money means less than twice as much. Still not too bad, though, if those Sonic toothbrushes (not to be confused with the hedgehog of the same name), which one assumes that Philips intend to be used with their AirFloss, are so good. The Sonic gets rid of a lot and the AirFloss gets rid of twice as much again. Again, not so.
In even smaller print, it says that they are only comparing the results with a manual toothbrush which, since Philips have for years been saying how much better their electric toothbrushes are than the manual ones, must do ckuf-all.
To recap, using the AirFlow will get rid of less than two times ckuf-all plaque. Why didn't the Dutchies say so in the first place?