Dreaded Disclaimers

Lisa Rice wrote this.

Though not my favorite part of some radio spots, they’re necessary. Copywriters disdain them because they take up valuable broadcast time. Listeners? They just tune out.

Disclaimers. You know. Where the announcer sounds like they’ve ingested five Monsters, AMPS, and ROCKSTARS in a row.

I’ve voiced a few. Definitely not what I’d consider highlights of my career. Add to that, they’re neither natural nor convincing.

Listeners might ignore them but they do have a purpose. Wikipedia says it best: “A disclaimer is generally any statement intended to specify or delimit the scope of rights and obligations that may be exercised and enforced by parties in a legally recognized relationship. In contrast to other terms for legally operative language, the term disclaimer usually implies situations that involve some level of uncertainty, waiver, or risk.”

In other words, lawyer-speak can hijack a radio commercial. Television spots, too. Look for the super tiny print on your screen. Like the spot below.

This spot appears to be a disclaimer. Yikes!

I came across the disclaimer below and smiled. Surprise! Life even comes with one.

LIFE*

*Available for a limited time only. Limit one (1) per person. Subject to change without notice. Provided “as is” and without warranties. Nontransferable. Sole responsibility of recipient. May incur damages arising from use or misuse. Additional parts sold separately. Your mileage may vary. Subject to all applicable fees and taxes. Terms and conditions apply. Other restrictions apply.

2 Comments for Dreaded Disclaimers

  1. Marc Scott Says:

    Disclaimer: How long and fast can you talk without breathing. I’m pretty sure that’s the VO definition. :P

  2. Lisa Rice Says:

    I agree. Verbal gymnastics, too. Like running a race with a tea cup on your head.

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