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.

Appetite for Confusion

These mixed messages, spotted by our readers, might just start a food fight. 


An image of promotional material that confuses the reader if McDonald's restaurants are committed or not to deforestation, an environmental issue.

Clear-Cut?
This McDonald’s message isn’t—or is it? (Submitted by Barbara Gladstone of Corvallis, Ore.)


An image of a carton of Trader Joe's Shepard's Pie where the

Shepherd's Ice Pop?
So much for comfort food. (Submitted by John Vaille of Eugene, Ore.)


An image of a wine store's coupon where the fine print reads that the advertied discount cannot be applied to

Booze Ruse
Guess we'll take the near beer then. (Submitted by George Porter of San Antonio.)


An image of an advertisment for a

Tastes a Little Gland
Looks like steak, but you never know. (Submitted by Milton Chang of Fairfax, Va.)



Share the Silliness With Us

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 we might publish it here.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.