A vintage photo of a woman reading a 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.

Not So Hot for Summer

Warm-weather products and promises you may want to skip.


A New Way to Use That Fire Pit
Not sure we’d drink to this attempt to make your fire pit do double duty on a hot day.
Submitted by Ari C., via email


We’ll Pass on This Ice Cream Flavor
Does this frozen “treat” come in a cone, cup, or clamshell?
Submitted by Amy Moldoff, seen in Quechee, VT


Shady Sales Pitch
This tree may give you some cover—about 10 years from now.
Submitted by Gerard Clayton, via email


Watch Out for a Really Rough Ride
It would take one souped-up golf cart to climb these stairs.
Submitted by S. Lee, via email

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 June 2021 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.