Professor Mark Nadel suggests four core challenges to making consumer protection a widespread concern: First, consumer interests are diffuse; it is a collective value and must compete with other values. Second, individuals have varying levels of intensity of interest in consumer matters. Mostly, this is a low- level interest, and it can be satisfied with emotional or psychological appeals. Thus, individuals can be satisfied with symbolic consumer protection. But this is a double-edged sword. When symbolic protections are stripped away, individuals can react intensely.
Third, there is a gulf in consumer protection between objective and perceived needs. This leads to a focus on dramatic problems and a lack of attention to more structural, difficult problems.
Fourth, the “consumer interest” is difficult to define…
MARK V. NADEL, THE POLITICS OF CONSUMER PROTECTION (1971).