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.

New Gaffes for the New Year

Time marches on, but mangled messages are eternal. 


An ad with a man in a sweater, but a close-up of the man's hand shows he has six fingers, the result of bad digital image editing work.

Bigamist on Campus
Hey, good-looking—you’re only supposed to put a ring on it once.
Submitted by Rich Grabowski of Edgewater, Md. 


A photo of a box of security envelopes which promise users you can't see in and you can't see out of.

Maximum Security
Guess you’ll have peace of mind whenever you’re mailing a very tiny criminal.
Submitted by Catherine McBride of Louisville, Ky. 


A photo of a restaurant's front window with a sign for tamales partially blocked so it reads as if it serves males $10 for a dozen.

No Gender Bias Here
When is a man really a tamale? This restaurant will serve them both!
Submitted by Joan Warren of Lisle, Ontario


An ad for senior living community that reads your apartment is waiting but there's no guarantee you'll be spending much time there.

Limited-Time Offer?
After this reminder, who could blame the residents for spending their remaining days drinking on the terrace?
Submitted by David Panner of Parrish, Fla. 


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 January 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.