buyer beware

Q2 Truth in Advertising

19. Buyer Beware

This tongue-in-cheek video shows how easily advertising companies can fool the public into purchasing products by claims that have no real legal meaning. 


During this Quest, you are going to investigate ads and marketing. You are going to learn how advertisers use many different techniques to persuade you to purchase their product or service. You are going to learn about slogans and how they are used to remind people of the value of the brand being sold.

I Can Statements

  • be a responsible online consumer
  • protect myself from online scams and rip-offs
  • create an advertisement demonstrating my learning

Key Vocabulary

Advertising: This can be any form of communication that is used to get you to think about, want, and then buy a product or service.

Bait and Switch: This is when a company advertises a product or service it never intends to provide.

Misleading: Giving the wrong idea or impression, deceptive, not entirely truthful.

Slogan: A short and striking or memorable phrase used in advertising.

Truth In Advertising: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission enforces laws that require an ad to be truthful, not misleading, and when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence to help prevent scams.

Unsubstantiated: This is not supported or proven by evidence.

Play the Vocabulary Game below to practice the Key Vocabulary

You can change the Quiz mode to Match, Test, Learn, Flash Cards, Spell using the selection list at the bottom right of the activity that says "Choose a Study Mode." Direct Link


Everywhere we look there are advertisements for products. If we are doing research on a topic, we soon have ads pop up on our phones, our online games, and social media websites about the topic. Advertisements seem to be taking over the Media! So we have to learn how to determine the validity of the ad and the product itself. It is not easy sometimes. 

It is against the law for companies to mislead or deceive us about their products but companies have found ways to make it difficult for them to be taken to court over their claims. We are fortunate to have the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) an independent agency of the U.S. government that aims to protect consumers and ensure a strong competitive market by enforcing consumer protection and antitrust laws.

1. Here are some of the ways that companies can mislead us. Think about how many times you have seen advertisements that reflect one or more of the below to persuade you to purchase their product or service. 

  • Bait-and-Switch is when a company advertises a product or service it never intends to provide.
  • Misleading photos or illustrations are used to easily sway us to buy their great-looking product to look or feel better. 
  • Price Deception is when the company uses means to trick you into thinking you are paying a lower price for the product. 
  • Unsubstantiated Claims are when you advertise for example that if you take this pill for 30 days that you will lose 20 pounds without exercising. There are no facts to back up or substantiate that this will actually work. 
  • Comparison Inconsistencies occur when different methods of comparison are used, leaving one with a false impression of the whole comparison. For example, you might compare two companies and list one company's product to a competitor's only in areas where it is superior, leaving out the fact the other product is superior in other ways.

2. Watch this YouTube video on Bait and Switch as a class and discuss any examples that come to mind that may have happened to you or your parents. 

3. Using this Slogan Worksheet alone or together as a class, discuss the advertising techniques that are used to persuade us to purchase their product or service. Every advertisement uses one or more techniques to make its product more appealing. 

4. Watch this YouTube video "What Happens When You Order A $29 Mini Laptop From A Facebook Ad?" We have to be careful when things look too good to be true. 

5. You have learned about the different techniques that advertisers use to appeal to the consumer. Your next step is to create your own advertisement to share with your teacher and your classmates. 

1. Let's see who can create the best advertisement to persuade your classmates to buy the product you are selling. 

2. First let's talk about slogans. Popular selling brands all have a catchy slogan that is a short and sweet reminder of the value a brand offers its customers.

3. Open up the Slogan Worksheet and see how many brands and slogans you can remember. Complete the worksheet and turn it into your teacher. 

2. Open up this Advertisement Poster Document to create your poster.

  • You will add an image of the product you would like to persuade your classmates to purchase from you. 
  • You will create a slogan to persuade them to purchase your product. 
  • Here is a FREE Slogan Creator to use if you need some assistance coming up with a good slogan. 
  • You may also want to add additional text (the fine print) if needed for your classmates to know more about your product. 

3. After the posters have been created, the teacher will share the posters in class. The following will be discussed about each poster if time.

  • Is there anything misleading about the ad?
  • What does the fine print say and why is it important?
  • What do others like about the ad?

Completing this Quest

When you are done with this Quest, review the I Can Statements, save your document in your File Space and share it with your teacher.

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

I have completed this Quest and I am ready to tackle Quest 3  


MITECS Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

1. Empowered Learner
c. Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways
d. Understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies

2. Digital Citizen
a. Cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world
b. Engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices
d. Manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online

5. Computational Thinker
b. Collect data or identify relevant data sets

A Digital Breakout may also be called a Digital Escape Room.

This is a web-based, game-like activity where students use clues to unlock a series of puzzles or activities to solve a challenge (or to escape a digital room).

Students frequently work together, (conference, or chat) as they work to locate and solve clues.

For additional help view this short video (3:44) showing how to use clues and hints to solve the Escape From Tech Basics located on the Thing 1.Basics Quest 8 page.