The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
   
The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Advertising
Is it art or copying? — Cranky Media Guy sent me an interesting link to an article published last December in the New York Times about the artist Richard Prince. He's described as a pioneer of "appropriation art." What this means is that Prince takes photographs of other photographer's photographs, and then displays them as his own. For instance, he had an exhibit at the Guggenheim about cowboys, which basically consisted of photographs of Marlboro ads. The guy who actually took the images for the Marlboro…
Posted: Tue Feb 05, 2008.   Comments (26)

“Less Wrinkles” — This ad, which has been running on digg, seems like a particularly egregious example of false advertising. Of course, if anyone would challenge the company in court they could say, "we never actually claimed our product could make an old lady look like a young model. That picture, as the disclaimer indicates, is merely simulated imagery." The grammar cop in me also has to point out that it should be "fewer wrinkles," not "less wrinkles." (via adrants)
Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008.   Comments (6)

Jontex Condom Ad - Possible Hoax — The image to the right shows what is supposedly a guerrilla marketing campaign by Jontex, a Brazilian brand of condoms owned by Johnson & Johnson. The campaign involves a cardboard cutout that can be positioned beneath the door of a bathroom stall. The Brazilian phrase translates to, "You do not know when it can be necessary." But strangely, Johnson and Johnson is denying responsibility for the ad. Or, at least, the folks who run the Johnson and Johnson blog claim it's not their…
Posted: Fri Jan 11, 2008.   Comments (3)

Cheer Chains — If you've been to Starbucks in the past week or so, you've been at risk of finding yourself trapped in a "cheer chain." What this means is that the person in line in front of you pays for your drink, and in return you're supposed to pay for the drink of the person behind you. This goes on and on, ad nauseam. The Associated Press reported on one cheer chain that totaled 1,013 customers. The question is, are these cheer chains a true spontaneous phenomenon, or are they a cynically…
Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007.   Comments (16)


Misleading Papa Johns Ad — Here's another case of a misleading claim in an advertisement. This time from Papa Johns, who offers unlimited toppings, as long as you have a maximum of no more than five toppings. (posted by Nave_7 on flickr.) Related posts: Deceptive Ad (Dec 3, 2007) Deceptive Sign (Sep 10, 2007)
Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2007.   Comments (13)

Deceptive Ad — Here's another example of a retailer creating a misleading display for their product. It's not technically a lie, but it certainly could confuse a shopper who didn't pay close attention. The image has been circulating around the internet recently. Unfortunately, I can't remember where I first saw it. Related Post: Deceptive Sign. Update: The image was first posted on Consumerist.com, emailed to them by "William" who saw it at a Toys R Us. (Though I figured out that I first saw it via…
Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2007.   Comments (11)

The Happy Endings Foundation — The Happy Endings Foundation believes that all children's books should have happy endings. Those that don't should be banned. The organization was (supposedly) started seven years ago by Adrienne Small after she noticed that her daughter seemed miserable after reading Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Mrs. Small plans to rewrite the Lemony Snicket books to give them a happy ending. Some upcoming events planned by the Happy Endings Foundation include a Halloween "fun…
Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2007.   Comments (1)

Cursed Japanese Kleenex Commercial — A commercial for Kleenex that aired in Japan during the 1980s became the focus of an urban legend. Derek Bassett last year described the legend on his blog Mohora: So the story is this commercial for Kleenex tissues was shown on Japanese TV back in 1986 or so. It features an actress in a white dress sitting next to a child made up to look like a baby ogre. There is a really creepy song in a foreign language that when researched, is actually an old German folk song with the words “Die,…
Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007.   Comments (8)

Deceptive Sign — I saw the following deceptive sign blogged about on LAist: It seems to advertise a dozen roses for $4, but on closer inspection it's actually advertising a dozen roses for $10. A classic bait and switch scam. I wrote about some similar advertising scams in Hippo Eats Dwarf. My favorites were the Cleveland Finance Loan Company which enticed those seeking a loan with this offer: "Pay nothing til first payment." Dunkin Donuts offered: "Free 3 muffins when you buy 3 at the regular 1/2…
Posted: Mon Sep 10, 2007.   Comments (8)

Reichenbach’s version of “September Morn” controversy definitely debunked — Two days ago I noted that I had posted an account of the "September Morn" controversy in the hoaxipedia, and I also said that I had my doubts about the role the publicist Harry Reichenbach played in the controversy. Well, I did some more research, and I've now been able to confirm my doubts. Reichenbach was just spinning a wild yarn. Some background: The story (according to Reichenbach) is that back in 1913 he was working at a New York City art dealer who was trying to sell 2000 copies…
Posted: Fri Sep 07, 2007.   Comments (7)

Water-Skiing Elephant — You can find a lot of weird stuff on YouTube, such as this video of a water-skiing elephant. Watching it, I feel kind of sorry for the poor elephant made to do this. The story behind the video is that it was a publicity stunt from 1959 dreamed up by New York PR man Max Rosey in order to promote an amusement park. Rosey was also the man who came up with the idea for an annual hot dog eating contest in Coney Island to promote Nathan's hot dogs. I found this video (and the explanation…
Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2007.   Comments (9)

Best of the forum - 17th August 07 — Well, after my holiday, my laptop went down, and it's only this week that I'm back online. I do extend my apologies for the lack of 'Best of the Forum' posts for the last few weeks. Receive the Holy Oil! (Transfrmr) Forum member Transfrmr found a rather... interesting advertisement in a local free newspaper. The advertisement (see above link) shows the text: "I heard voices calling my name but saw nobody. Sometimes the voices told me to throw myself under a car. To top it off I also…
Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007.   Comments (10)

Unfortunate Server Ad — Just last week Intel got in trouble for a poorly thought-out ad. And now another technology company is in hot water for the same reason. Quite a few blogs have been posting a picture of a print ad created by QSOL.com. It shows an attractive woman's face with the caption, "Don't feel bad, our servers won't go down on you either." Intel could credibly claim that they didn't intend for their ad to be racist, but it's hard for QSOL to argue that they didn't intend for this to be sexist.…
Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2007.   Comments (11)

Controversial Sprinter Ad — Lots of blogs have been posting this recent Intel ad, pointing out the racist implications of six black men appearing to bow down to a white man. (I actually think all the crouching runners are the same guy, photoshopped into six different places.) Whether or not it's racist isn't the question. The question for the MoH is: Is it really an ad by Intel? After all, although it's been widely posted, most blogs haven't specified exactly where the ad ran. The answer is that it…
Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007.   Comments (12)

M is for Fake — Cosmetics giant Elizabeth Arden has gone on record to let everyone know that an image apparently circulating around the internet, showing a supposed ad for Mariah Carey's new perfume, M, is a fake. An Arden spokesman says: "An image of MC with her fragrance bottle photoshopped in the corner is being featured on several blogs today, and is categorically not the advertisement for her new fragrance, nor is it even remotely close. The real ad for M by Mariah Carey will debut exclusively on…
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007.   Comments (10)

Cerne Abbas Homer — A 180ft image of a donut-waving Homer Simpson recently appeared on a hillside in Dorchester, beside the famous Cerne Abbas Giant. The image is part of the publicity for the new Simpsons movie. However, the stunt has not pleased local pagans, who believe it to be disrespectful. Catherine Hosen, Wiltshire representative for The Pagan Federation, says, "I find it quite shocking and very disrespectful. It's just a publicity stunt for a film and we are talking about a monument which is…
Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2007.   Comments (8)

Best of the Forum – 29nd June 07 — Ok, I'm out of here on holiday, so most likely there shan't be forum roundup posts for the next couple of weeks. They'll be picked up when I get back. Alien Abduction Caught On Film In Dickinson, North Dakota (Emidawg) A video has come to light of an alleged alien abduction. Well, when I say ‘come to light’, I mean more that the gentleman involved has sent said film to the director of HBCC UFO Research. Highlights of the video are said to include a ‘spiraling thing’ and ‘entities’…
Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007.   Comments (5)

iPhone Mania — I'd be shocked if you didn't know what the iPhone is or that it's going to be in stores this Friday, the 29th, at 6 PM local time. Apple's publicity machine has been working overtime to promote what some are calling the "Jesus Phone." The iPhone may be over-hyped, but I wouldn't call it a hoax. The guy who is first in line for one at Apple's flagship NYC store, however, might be classified as a hoaxer. Greg Packer is what you might call a media whore. He's been quoted in the press…
Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007.   Comments (16)

Cologne Pills — Athletic-apparel company Lululemon has recently been advertising what they claim to be the world's first cologne pill. You swallow it and then you sweat cologne. They call it L'Odeur. The tagline for the product is "Swallow the cologne pill. Sweat the fragrance." You can check out the ad here. There's also an accompanying cheesy video on You Tube. Of course, it's a hoax. The cologne-pill ads are actually designed to attract attention to a new real product, Silverescent, which is a…
Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2007.   Comments (3)

Best of the Forum – 1st June 07 — Botched Fax Prompts “Terrorism” Scare (MadCarlotta) Police shut down a strip mall in Boston on Wednesday after a branch of Bank of America received a faulty fax. The fax, which had been sent out by the bank's corporate office, had left off some of the text, leaving some dubious clip art. The plaza was evacuated for around three hours. Roswell Theme Park (Madmouse) Roswell city officials plan a UFO-themed amusement park that could open as early as 2010. Local shopkeepers base a large…
Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2007.   Comments (9)

Page 3 of 10 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.