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.

Food for Thought

Ring in the holiday festivities with these culinary clunkers. 


A photo of a fast-food sandwich billboard advertisement above a gasoline pump sign that says, We have top quality top tier gas and now so can you.

A Sandwich Best Enjoyed Solo
Maybe it’s a billboard blunder—but you can’t say you weren’t warned.
Submitted by Tim, Clio, and Romy Vos of Seattle


A photo of copper pan with a label that says dishwasher safe on the front, but then on the reverse side of the label, is says to not use a dishwasher but to hand wash only.

This Isn’t Going to Pan Out
What part of “dishwasher safe” don’t we understand?
Submitted by Kate Johnson of New Bedford, Mass. 


A photo of a restaurant ad that allows customers to enjoy free pie Wednesday for only a dollar.

Free Is Just Another Word . . .
Has the dollar bill dropped dramatically in value without anyone telling us?
Submitted by Sharon and John Veatch of Bremerton, Wash. 


A Wendy's restaurant coupon that promises customers free small order of french fries and a small drink if they buy a large chicken.

A Fowl’s Gotta Eat
How do we know that large chickens like their fries small?
Submitted by Joan Hinshaw of Brea, 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 December 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.