Dilution and Negation of Consumer Information by Antifactual Content: Proposals for Solutions



    1. Ivan L. Preston is Journal Communications Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He thanks anonymous reviewers, who were merciless and helpful as could be.
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  • This is the second of two refereed papers on this topic. The first, appearing in the Winter 2002 issue, introduced the concept of antifactual content and discussed the value of incorporating it into theories studies, policies, and actions involving consumer information.


Following identification and analysis of antifactual content and the tendency of information researchers and regulators to ignore it, this article continues the discussion by presenting proposals to incorporate the concept into research and public policy on the quantity and quality of marketplace information available to consumers. Proposals are offered for information researchers, for regulators and policymakers such as the FTC, for advertisers, and for consumers and consumer advocates.