Some of you may remember that phrase and how it came into being. Some of you may not. It’s a phrase I’ve used over the years to indicate a situation in which one states a claim about something of which others have no practical means to verify the claim.
In the 1980’s-1990’s there was a growing public outcry over the incidental killing of dolphins due to standard mass-production fishing operations of the time. Large fishing ships, dragging massive nets for long periods of time, ended up snaring tortoises, dolphins, even whales, and media exposure incited public outrage.
After it started impacting sales of tuna and other products, the companies mounted an expensive and huge marketing counter campaign. Damage control. The tip of the spear was the use of new labels on cans and packaging stating “Dolphin Safe!” accompanied by advertisements promising the use of more “humane” fishing techniques and tools.
The outcry faded to nothing within days. Nobody ever saw media coverage showing the new tools or techniques. But the labels were enough.
A lot of things today slip under the radar of public scrutiny using the same technique. It works like pure genius. Kudos to the inventor of that one.