“The Real Cost” Of Smoking Is Only Skin Deep In New Anti-Smoking Campaign Aimed At Teens

“The Real Cost” Of Smoking Is Only Skin Deep In New Anti-Smoking Campaign Aimed At Teens

A case of marketing brilliance or unfair stereotyping? That’s the question we have after the Food and Drug Administration announced the first anti-smoking campaign aimed at teens. The ads don’t highlight the serious health risks of smoking, such as emphysema or lung cancer, instead they depict yellow teeth and wrinkles. [More]

Ice Cream Company Knows What You’re Here For: You Want Nutrition? Eat Carrots

Truth in advertising.

As the saying goes, if you don’t read the amount of calories, fat and sugar contained in a food, none of that counts and you can eat as much of it as you want. Well, that might at least be the mindset behind one Wisconsin ice cream company’s slogan, “You want nutrition? Eat carrots.” [More]

Chipotle Is Sorry To Interrupt Its Regular Steak Programming With Conventionally Raised Beef

Truth-telling shouldn't be so remarkable, but that's the world we live in.

It might seem like a small thing, to alert your customers when a product you offer changes. But as we’ve seen with the horsemeat scandal over in Europe, knowing exactly what kind of food you’re eating is vitally important to consumers. After all, you’re the one deciding to spend your hard-earned cash so you should be in the loop. Consumerist reader Salman noticed this kind of transparency in action recently at his local Chicago Chipotle. [More]

The Threat Of Unplanned Parenthood Is One Way To Sell Condoms

The Threat Of Unplanned Parenthood Is One Way To Sell Condoms

No need to resort to flashy gimmicks or big marketing campaigns — if you want to sell condoms, just present an easy juxtaposition with a meaning that can’t be missed. A gas station is doing just that with a handmade sign showcasing two of its products. [More]

Thanks, Bank Of America, For Not Burning Down My House Or Killing My Dog

Thanks, Bank Of America, For Not Burning Down My House Or Killing My Dog

When Bank of America recently decided to scrap its plan to not charge its customers a $5/month fee for using debit cards to make purchase, the bank said it had listened to what its customers thought about the idea. But should consumers be grateful to BofA for not doing something they shouldn’t have done in the first place? [More]

DirecTV Accuses Fox Of Misleading TV Viewers

DirecTV Accuses Fox Of Misleading TV Viewers

If you’ve watched sporting events on Fox in the last week, you’ve likely spotted an ad from News Corp. alerting DirecTV customers that “soon, in some markets, you may lose your local Fox station” as a result of the ongoing contract dispute between the broadcaster and the satellite company. But these TV spots aren’t going over well with the folks at DirecTV who have complained to the FCC that Fox is misleading customers. [More]

Nivea Fined For Saying Skin Cream Makes You Slimmer

Nivea Fined For Saying Skin Cream Makes You Slimmer

The distributor of Nivea in Canada has been fined nearly 400,000 Loonies for marketing the “My Silhouette” skin cream as making you slimmer. As opposed to the usually vague nonsense talk surrounding skin and beauty product pitches, this one claimed users could expect a “reduction of up to three centimetres on targeted body parts, such as thighs, hips, waist and stomach.” [More]

Dish Gives Prospective Customers Preview Of Its Stellar Service

Dish Gives Prospective Customers Preview Of Its Stellar Service

Mystern encountered this error message, which reads “Acquiring satellite signal,” while strolling by an unmanned Dish Network kiosk at a Utah mall. [More]

Sun Boasts Its Large Size Contains More Soap Than Small

Sun Boasts Its Large Size Contains More Soap Than Small

Daniel shot this photo of Sun dish soap. The package is proud that its 25 ounce bottle holds more than the 16 ounce size. [More]

Another Reason To Avoid Giant Megapixel Point-And-Shoot Cameras

Another Reason To Avoid Giant Megapixel Point-And-Shoot Cameras

By now you hopefully know that more megapixels don’t necessarily make a better camera. For one thing, you can almost double the megapixels of a camera while only gaining about a 40% increase in resolution. For another thing, it takes a lot more than just sheer number of pixels to produce a decent image. Nevertheless, point-and-shoot cameras with ginormous megapixel stats (now topping 12 MP) continue to hit the market. But Ross at Petavoxel says there’s another reason to avoid huge MP point-and-shoot cameras: something called the Airy disk. [More]

Ruby Tuesdays' Steaks Too Small In Massachusetts

Ruby Tuesdays' Steaks Too Small In Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs sent inspectors to five of the nine Ruby Tuesdays restaurants in Massachusetts after a customer complaint. Today they released an announcement that in all five locations, they found steaks that were smaller than their labeled size. The restaurant’s supplier, Colorado Premium Foods, was fined $700 dollars. [More]

Pet Store Takes Advantage Of Grocery Shrink Ray

Pet Store Takes Advantage Of Grocery Shrink Ray

Dan sent in this pic from a local pet store. It reads, “After January 1st, bag sizes will be decreased, and these new prices will stay the same. For the rest of 2009 you will save 12.5% on all big bags of Science Diet dog food!!” I like how they’re spinning the reduced packaging in a way that benefits them and the customer, while also making sure nobody is fooled come January 1st.

Internet Speeds Are Lower Than Advertised 50-80% Of The Time

Internet Speeds Are Lower Than Advertised 50-80% Of The Time

Anyone who reads the fine print when signing up for Internet access knows that the speeds advertised are “best case” scenarios, or more cynically that they’re total fabrications meant to lure in customers. Now the FCC, as part of its larger study of how to expand broadband access, has reported that “actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by as much as 50% to 80%.”

FTC Wants Bloggers To Reveal When They're Being Compensated To Promote A Product

FTC Wants Bloggers To Reveal When They're Being Compensated To Promote A Product

You know what’s worse than not having a big bag of M&Ms on your desk to enjoy while you work? Having to read a blogvertisement disguised as editorial content! Hold on, I have to eat some more M&Ms. Good gravy these are delicious. Did you know M&M’s cure malaria? It’s true! Anyway, the FTC says bloggers should reveal when they’re being compensated in some way to promote a product, and I agree.

Looking To Interview Truth-In-Advertising Lawyer

Are you a lawyer with experience and knowledge of truth-in-advertising litigation? Or know someone who is? I’m looking to interview such a person for an article with a deceptive marketing hook. Email me at ben@consumerist.com, subject line, “lawyer.”

Icon Parking Accidentally Reveals Why Their Service Is Cheap

Icon Parking Accidentally Reveals Why Their Service Is Cheap

Eli Lansey took photos of recent Icon Parking ads on NYC subway cars and posted them on his blog. They promise customers “$10 for up to 10 hours” of parking at various lots in the city. Wow, that’s a good price! On the same ad they have a help wanted section that says they’re looking for employees, “no experience necessary.” Ah.

'No Need To Stir' Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Requires Stirring, Or A Straw

'No Need To Stir' Skippy Natural Peanut Butter Requires Stirring, Or A Straw

As any convenience-seeking American knows, the bane of natural peanut butter is its tendency to separate into an unspreadable sludge of crushed peanut and an eager-to-spill pond of oil. You have to stir the two together to get back to the peanut butter texture you’ve come to expect from the hybridized brands. Skippy says they’ve solved the problem, but based on the two jars one customer bought, they’re plain nuts (wocka wocka!).

This Dollar Store Taunts You With The Past

This Dollar Store Taunts You With The Past

Can there be any sadder indication of our toilet-water economy than a dollar store that references its own happier, cheaper past? This New York City dollar store has pulled down its old sign, “Everything 99¢ Or Less,” and rebranded.