A vintage photo of a woman reading the newspaper.

Marketers want their products and services to be noticed and applauded, but sometimes the attempt backfires. When it does, our eagle-eyed readers let us know, submitting examples of rip-offs, poorly worded ads, half-empty packaging, outlandish claims, and goofs that have made them laugh out loud.

Hot Deals?

These promotions might throw a little cold water on your summer savings. 


Shallow Promise
Thank goodness you don’t have to take the pool to them!
Submitted by Tim Onstott, Keller, TX


Penny-Pinching Planter
It seems that the grass is only very slightly greener on the clearance side of the store.
Submitted by Anonymous, Nashville, TN


This Oasis Is More Like a Mirage
Let’s hope these shopkeepers don’t moonlight as accountants.
Submitted by Michael Rutherford, Akron, OH


A Sea Change
Looks like this fishmonger has been caught telling tall “tails.”
Submitted by Diana Naples, Southington, CT

Be on the lookout for goofs and glitches like these. Share them with us via:

Send us your funny ads. Please include key information, such as the publication’s name and date. We might publish your submission here.

See our Selling It archives for previously published silliness.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the July 2019 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.