A few years ago, Consumerist looked around at the retail landscape and the nascent nationwide trend of stores opening up on Thanksgiving Day, and we wondered whether it was time to put a modern twist on an initiative from the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to move Thanksgiving up a week to lengthen the retail season, which didn’t catch on. Why can’t we just leave Thanksgiving where it is and move Black Friday up a week? [More]
Competing big-box stores like Target and Best Buy are trying to attract shoppers this holiday season by offering free shipping on all online purchases, no matter how small. This strategy doesn’t interest Walmart, because their plans this year for holiday domination don’t include free online shipping: they include using in-store pickup to get shoppers into their stores. [More]
If you’ve ever walked up to a government employee and shouted, “You’re welcome for paying your salary!” you wouldn’t see anything wrong with a recent series of ads from lodgings site AirBNB that recently appeared around San Francisco. Even some people who wouldn’t do that had issues with the tone of the ads… including the company’s own employees. [More]
Ever since the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, 2015, companies have been throwing elbows trying to one-up each other to see who can offer recreations of – and reap the revenues from – products showcased in Back to the Future: Part II: “Pepsi Perfect,” a $10,000 hover board, self-lacing shoes from Nike and more. With just two days to go until Marty McFly’s fateful visit to the future, Ford is getting in on the marketing glory by offering a [fake] flux capacitor. [More]
The Honest Company, co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, built its billion-dollar reputation on the fact that its products are created using natural, nontoxic elements. But a newly filed class-action lawsuit claims the company hasn’t been as honest as its name would lead one to believe, accusing the organization of deceiving consumers by selling items that actually contain unnatural and ineffective ingredients. [More]
In a world where marketers are constantly trying to catch the attention of shoppers with products that are seen as fresh, wholesome and healthy, there are some words that perhaps used to mean something more to people than they used to. Like “artisan” — in the past, this would’ve meant a skilled worker spending time and great effort on making something. Now, that could just mean more premium ingredients on your fast food burger. But in Ireland, it’s not so easy to use such words lightly, as McDonald’s recently found out with its first attempt at an “artisan” Irish burger.
A little more than a week after federal regulators set their sights on the University of Phoenix for possible deceptive and unfair business practices, the California Attorney General’s office is joining the investigation party by opening a probe into the for-profit college’s military recruitment practices. [More]
Apollo Education Group, owners of the country’s largest for-profit college – University of Phoenix – is the latest target for federal regulators set on reining in the for-profit education industry for engaging in allegedly deceptive marketing practices. [More]
TiVo Invokes Aereo’s Corporate Corpse To Market An “Exclusive” Deal That Costs $70 More Than No Deal At All
Aereo only operated for two years, and in that time the company commanded a small but loyal fan base. Customers in the cities where the streaming service operated enjoyed being able to capture, record, and stream local over-the-air broadcasts… until the company got shot down by the courts and went bankrupt. Now, another company is trying to fan those flames of affection for its own marketing — and the deal on offer is not good at all.
It’s no secret that for-profit colleges receive a large chunk of their revenue from military education benefits. To deter unscrupulous for-profit colleges from unfairly targeting these prospective students, the government has imposed several limitations on just how these companies can recruit servicemembers. But a new report shows that one of the nation’s largest proprietary education institutions – The University of Phoenix – spends millions of dollars to allegedly skirt those rules. [More]
Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the lure of a “risk-free trial” when it comes with a product that promises to leave your skin youthful, radiant and as soft as a baby’s bottom. But as the Federal Trade Commission once again reminds us, those deals often come with strings attached and hollow promises. [More]
For-Profit Educator Ashworth College Settles FTC Charges It Misrepresented Career Opportunities, Transfer Credits
Five years ago, we warned you that before long, “artisanal” would become the new “organic,” and companies would adopt it in their marketing. The prediction came true, and companies like McDonald’s and Arby’s are advertising “artisan” mass-produced meat products. In advertising their artisan grilled chicken products, McDonald’s may be taking their “we use real food, honest” thing a little too far. [More]
“We’ve heard the same rumors you have,” says a recent publication from McDonald’s. “Fillers in our beef, so called ‘pink slime.'” The message is fine, but the location is problematic: McDonald’s is not only protesting a little too much, but this message is on a tray placemat. In one of their restaurants. The kind that you look at while you eat your McDonald’s food. [More]
For more than 5 years, the FDA has had authority to regulate tobacco products, and last month, the agency issued guidance to the tobacco industry about when cigarette makers must seek FDA approval on changes to packaging. The country’s largest tobacco businesses now believe the FDA is overstepping its authority and violates their rights to free expression. [More]
On the one hand, it can be very convenient to get a coupon emailed to you based on your obsession with tacos. On the other, having every website you visit blast your eyes with ads for the same darn pair of lime green shoes you already bought as part of a Halloween costume and never intend to buy again. But some retailers say they’re working on tailoring such marketing efforts down to each person individually, to maximize effectiveness and cut down on irritation.
When determining where to launch new menu items, you would think that fast food restaurants take a number of issues into consideration: popularity in that area, cost, projected sales. Apparently for Burger King and its soon-to-return Chicken Fries, the only opinion that matters is that of an actual chicken named Gloria. [More]