Ad Alert

Red Envelope



A reader was able to catch this radio ad for, a shopping website that is advertising “25% off almost everything” if you use the code “FAST” at checkout.

But when our reader (and when we) went to the site to try to use the code FAST — we also tried “fast” and “Fast” — the site told us the code was expired or invalid:


Our reader noted this seemed an awful lot like bait-and-switch advertising — consumers come to the site for the advertised sale, but when they’re ready to check out, the price is higher than anticipated. did not respond to’s request for comment on the advertisement.

If you get pulled into a store or a website by an advertised sale only to discover there really is no sale, think very carefully before buying anything. For more on bait-and-switch advertising, click here.

Updated October 30, 2013: Red Envelope contacted the reader who initially submitted the complaint and offered her an e-mail coupon for $25 off her next order. The only problem? The coupon was expired.

Updated December 4, 2013: CBS Radio says they have pulled the ad. Red Envelope has still not responded to’s emails or phone calls.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

You Might Be Interested In


Ad Alert


Brewery issues a “gold plated apology” for misleading consumers on “solid gold” cans.