This is a self-reflective post, interesting mostly if you want to understand what goes on inside my head these days. There’s no practical knowledge to be gained from it, no commentary on politics, popular culture. It’s meta.
Let’s talk for a while about trust issues and data robustness. There’s really two interconnecting stories here so bear with me while I go overboard with the backstory.
You cannot really lie in an advertisement. The FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection guards against using fraudulent techniques in advertising. I'm not sure whether it ever protected me. Seeing how ads work nowadays, I'm pretty sure the advertisers are always a step ahead of the bureau. You cannot lie but you can exaggerate about the desirable characteristics of your product and be silent about those less welcome. Selling is the art of manipulating the truth in a way that makes the product appear to satisfy the customers' requirements. Manipulation is the keyword here.