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 ripoffs, poorly worded ads, half-empty packaging, outlandish claims, and goofs that have made them laugh out loud.

Lost in Translation

Take these ads, please! Read literally—and let the laughter begin. 


Massage Marathon
Nearly four days of hands-on time? “What a deal if you can survive it!” writes John Gearheart of Chesterfield, Mo. 


A Shot and a Beer Chaser
We hear flu vaccination rates are at an all-time high this year!
Submitted by Linda Hayes of Dickson, Tenn. 


Cheaper by the Dozen
Just don’t let your full-price eldest kid know his younger sibs were bargain-basement.
Submitted by Blaine and Phyllis Butterworth of Durham, N.C. 


Cut and Dried
You get exactly what you pay for with these posies.
Submitted by Carol and George Rasmussen of Merced, Calif.


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

  • Email: SellingIt@cro.consumer.org
  • Mail: Selling It, Consumer Reports, 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703

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

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.