A WIN FOR RADIO LISTENERS

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To our enormous surprise, Congress has seen the obvious about mandatory advertising disclosures.

That is that requiring too much detailed information in broadcast advertising, no matter how well-intentioned, does little good for consumers or advertisers.

The federal lawmakers soon will revise the Truth-in-Lending Act's disclosure rules and by doing so actually increase the consumer value of radio advertising for autos and other products that are sold through leases.

Radio copywriters will no longer have to share their precious seconds with a government-mandated recitation of lease terms. But listeners win, too. They get a simple, more memorable admonishment to call a toll-free number or check their newspaper for important leasing cost details.

This is just a start. Next up for reform should be the rules that still require TV and radio ads to make down-to-the-last-decimal-point disclosure of loan terms.

Disclosures that don't communicate in the advertising context do no one any good.

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