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.
truth in advertising
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%.”
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.
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 email@example.com, subject line, “lawyer.”
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.
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!).
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.
“The Astrologer” magazine shuttered in December 2007 due to “unforeseen circumstances.” Hmm. [Neatorama]
IntoMobile writes that an “agent/employee discussion forum at HowardForums has revealed the possibility of new data plans for AT&T.”
After David Pogue’s public complaint last week that some movie trailers go too far in misleading consumers about the movie, he was contacted by the director of both “National Treasure” flicks, Jon Turteltaub, who offered his opinion on the practice: “What’s funny is that the filmmakers do exactly what you do. I was watching the final trailer for my movie, saying what you said: ‘Ummm….that’s not in the movie, that’s not in the movie, THAT’S not in the movie.'”
David Pogue has an interesting rant in today’s Circuits column about the movie “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”—or more specifically about its trailer, which is chock-full of scenes, dialogue, locations, and plot references that are nowhere to be found in the actual movie. He asks, “Just how different can a trailer be without becoming false advertising?” We immediately thought about last year’s kids flick “Bridge to Terabithia,” which was advertised like a whimsical Narnia spin-off but in reality was about the death of a major character.
Chuck Norris is suing publisher Penguin and author Ian Spector over the book “The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 facts about the World’s Greatest Human”. Among other claims, the suit states that the “book’s title would mislead readers into thinking the facts were true.” This means that apparently Chuck Norris cannot cure your cancer with his tears, he did not create a giraffe by uppercutting a horse, and he cannot speak braille. If only Kevin Trudeau could be so honest.
We don’t actually recommend you go into stores and put these stickers on merchandise you haven’t bought, or outdoors on poster ads that you didn’t place. But it’s still fun to look at them and imagine all the great places they would add value to a merch display. The “Actual Size!” stickers are more absurd, but their potential for hilarity is much higher: “80% of public advertisements would be greatly improved by an ‘actual size!’ claim, from 8.5×11 “Regina Spektor Live In Concert!” flyers to ten-foot PS3 banners to airline ads in the subway with pictures of 747s.”
Aquafina, PepsiCo’s best-selling bottled water, is changing its label to clarify its true source: city water supplies. The labels have never claimed to be spring water, but the price, packaging, and placement in stores apparently made enough of the world believe it was.
of business mannerisms intact, but with refreshingly blunt dialogue coming from all the characters mouths. “You must keep the Teddy Bear logo.”