First, the radio commercial.
Yes, this is a stupid, badly written commercial. But no worse than the typical stupid, badly written radio commercial.
The problem is the advertisement lies…twice.
Lie #1: “We’re broadcasting live from the ship.”
No, they’re not.
Sure, it’s possible to create such a lame, artificial sounding spot from a cruise ship. But you and I (and they) know this was done in a landlocked recording studio.
Lie #2: “Today we’re with top cruiser, Kathryn.”
No, they’re not. They’re with a voice actress. Everything she reports is fictional, although she does her best to make it sound like a real person reporting her real experiences.
The Federal Trade Commission would consider this to be a “testimonial,” and as such it’s in violation of their regulations that prohibit faked testimonials.
“But Dan, what about all the dialog spots that feature people who obviously are characters? Are you saying those violate FTC rules, too?”
No. Those aren’t pretending — or, worse, proclaiming themselves — to feature real customers.
There’s nothing wrong with airing radio commercials with fictitious characters and situations. Unless you tell people it’s real, when it’s not.