Ad Alert

Good Chop: ‘Free Chicken Wings for Life’

Spoiler: the chicken wings are neither free nor do they last for life.

Ad Alert

Good Chop: ‘Free Chicken Wings for Life’

Meat and seafood delivery service Good Chop advertises “Free Chicken Wings for Life.” But the chicken wings are neither free nor do they last for life.

Small print beneath the offer, which was sent in by a reader who said the ad came in a subscription box for Factor, another meal delivery service, states, “3lbs added to every order of your membership,” and fine print on the back of the card says:

Offer only valid for new customers with an auto-renewing subscription purchase. User will receive one package of chicken wings (3 lbs) free in every box purchased for a year from when you signup. …

“A reasonable consumer would not interpret ‘for life’ to mean ‘for a year,’” said our reader. No argument here. In fact, there’s no guarantee that the not-so-free chicken wings will even last a year.

The fine print on the back also says that Good Chop reserves “the right to end or modify any offer at any time including, but not limited to, substituting free product with product of equal or lesser value based on company discretion.” So at any point Good Chop could decide to substitute the chicken wings for anything it chooses (say, mac and cheese or just rolls).

A reasonable consumer also would not likely interpret “free” to mean “purchase required.”

What does the law say about all this? According to the FTC, if the disclosure of information is necessary to prevent an ad from being deceptive, the disclosure has to be clear and conspicuous, meaning consumers must be able to notice it, read it and understand it. And when it comes to companies making “free” offers, the FTC requires that advertisers clearly and conspicuously disclose at the outset all the terms, conditions and obligations of the offer “so as to leave no reasonable probability that the terms of the offer might be misunderstood.”

Hello again

Both Good Chop and Factor are owned by HelloFresh, whose deceptive marketing of “free meals,” among other things, prompted to file a complaint with regulators last year. ( also found that HelloFresh made it difficult for consumers to cancel subscriptions.) Earlier this year, the National Advertising Division investigated HelloFresh’s marketing and determined that it did not properly disclose the material terms and conditions that applied to its offers of “free meals” and recommended that the company modify its advertising to clearly and conspicuously disclose such information in close proximity to the “free” claims. reached out to HelloFresh for comment. Check back for updates.

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