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.

September Smorgasbord

The promos for these foods and drink will make you stop and think. 

Selling it: Photo of huge banner advertising 50-cent Ikea hot dogs with a disclaimer that the hot dogs shown are not actual size.

Thanks for clarifying, Ikea! Now we don’t have to worry about where to get all that mustard. (Submitted by Bruce Fernandez of Poway, Calif.) 

A buffet restaurant advertisement offering 40% discounts for dining parties of six or more people, but the disclaimer says there's a limit of 5 people per table.

Table for Five
So the sixth person in your party gets to dine alone? (Submitted by Bob Waas of Ocala, Fla.)

An advertisement for Kraft macaroni and cheese with well-known fictional characters on the boxes.

Pasta Before Progeny
Way to set up some really unhealthy sibling rivalry. (Submitted by Debi Ziebert of N. Royalton, Ohio.)

A photo of an in-store display for vodka sold under a banner that says welcome back students.

School Spirit
This really isn’t the kind of “proof” you want your college student working on. (Submitted by Steve Robins of Cary, Ill.)

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

  • Email:
  • 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 September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.