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.

Garble, Garble

For this month of family feasts, we found retailers serving up some real turkeys. 


A photo of a package of dental floss with plaque misspelled as plague.

Freshens Breath, Cures the Black Death
“If only they had these things in the Middle Ages,” said Rebecca Jaklich of Spokane, Wash.  


A photo of a Halloween decoration on sale from the original price of $49.99 to the sale price of $49.99.

Spectral Sale
Savings disappear before your very eyes!
Submitted by Jane Wilhoite of Cary, N.C.


A photo of a restaurant marquee advertising it is now hiring fish.

Angling for a Job?
We hope the new hires make a splash.
Submitted by John Pavlick, Lawrenceburg, Tenn. 


A photo of a grocery store shelf stocked with beer under the a sign marked for health and beauty products.

Good for What “Ales” You
Well, they do say that people look better after a six-pack or two.
Submitted by Pam Stuckman, via email 


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 November 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.