The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
Bonsai Kittens, 2000
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
Adolf Hitler Baby Photo Hoax, 1933
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
Prof. Wingard's Death Ray Hoax, 1876
The Misleading Steak Premiere
In late 2002 McDonald's ran a television advertisement in the UK for its new Steak Premiere sandwich. The ad attracted the attention of the UK's Independent Television Commission after it received complaints that the image of the sandwich in the ad was misleading. Viewers noted that the ad showed a bun containing a substantial amount of steak, dressing, peppers and onions. However, the actual sandwich was far less full of ingredients.

The ITC investigated and concluded there was a "disparity between the quantity of toppings against the television advertisements." McDonald's admitted that, in making the ad, its photographers had moved some of the toppings to the edge of the bun to make them more visible.

This is fairly standard practice in the advertising industry. "Food stylists" are employed to carefully stage food to enhance its appearance. Common tricks include shining fruit and vegetables with glycerin, piling pasta on top of mashed potatoes to make it look bigger, putting aspirin in champagne to give it extra fizz, and searing the outside of uncooked burgers with a blowtorch to create the appearance of moist, plump burgers.

McDonald's was ordered to stop running the ad. It stopped serving the sandwich in January 2003.

Links and References
McDonald's food advert banned. (March 3, 2003). BBC News.
Photo Categories: Staged Scene, Advertising, Food, 2000-2004

All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.