The Museum of Hoaxes
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Jennifer Love Hewitt's Disappearing Breasts
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
war of the worlds
The night Martians invaded New Jersey, 1938
Dog wins art contest, 1974
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Actress who claimed she was kidnapped by puritans, 1950
The boy with the golden tooth, 1593
The Stone-Age Tasaday Hoax, 1971
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
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.