tricks used in advertising

How Big Companies Lie in Advertising and Steal Your Money


A lot of us don’t want the government regulating so many parts of our lives. But would you want them to lessen their restrictions if you knew they were lying or misrepresenting the truth to consumers?

That’s the question posed by author David Alderman at Finances Online. He and his team created a really fascinating infographic that looks at how we are deceived every day by tricks used in advertising. Sure, you probably had an idea that this kind of thing goes on — we all know how fashion models are retouched to look as perfect as possible — but some of the detailed they uncover is startling even to the most educated shopper. For example, if a TV commercial with rich golden syrup on warm pancakes or a steaming potato gets your mouth salivating, you may be actually gazing on motor oil and a freshly microwaved wet tampon.

Some of the info presented below is funny or annoying, such as how hotels photograph their locations to make them look more grand and majestic. Others may actually make you a bit angry, like when its used in advertising toward children who don’t necessarily have the critical thinking skills to spot a scam when they see one.

While you may think these things are just annoying, keep in mind that we all fall for some element of advertising every day, and that’s money that may not have come out of your pocket had you been totally in tune with the reality of the situation. You know, like if you knew that Big Mac wasn’t going to look or taste as fresh as it appears in the bus ad you just drove past. Likewise, Alderman points out that the American Medical Association thinks these tricks can have serious consequences. It believes these ads of unrealistic body images are linked to eating disorders and “other child and adolescent health problems.”

So, what do you think? Is more regulation needed for advertisers, or do we just need to be smarter? Check out the graphic below and share your thoughts!

false advertising examples