Marketing Or Manipulation?

This is a guest post by the Lean Life Coach who writes at Eliminate the Muda! [mooda] about how to improve life and personal finance through the application of proven business management techniques that originated with great Americans such as Henry Ford and Benjamin Franklin.

Fighting to Survive

Would you gargle with a floor cleaner?

Originally invented in 1879 as a surgical antiseptic, Listerine was later diluted and sold as a floor cleaner. The Lambert Pharmacal Company, maker of Listerine, was not a wild success, selling a little more than $100,000 per year of their concoction. In 1921 Jordan Wheat Lambert initiated a new marketing campaign advertising Listerine as a cure for “cronic halitosis.” In less than 7 years annual revenue exploded to $8 million.

Just as a small side note, “Cronic Halitosis” was a fake medical term! No doubt, a few of us have an occasional issue with bad breath, but it was not considered a major societal issue until this groundbreaking marketing plan. Not only did the Lambert Pharmacal Company create a new product they even created a new medical term that is commonly accepted to this day.

The objective of any business, big or small, is not only to make a profit but also grow. Doing so requires a focused approach towards obtaining and more importantly retaining a customer base. This of course requires marketing and advertising.

Years ago a company would develop a single marketing campaign and blast it to the world at large; “Buy our widgets.” A successful campaign might be profitable for decades while a failed effort could doom a company.

How Far Will They Go?

Companies are always looking for an edge to increase their market share and profit margins. To find this edge, businesses spend millions analyzing everything consumers do and think. Over time corporate America has learned that not all buyers are the same. They began dividing their markets into select demographic groups, casting several wide nets, each with more targeted bait. McDonald’s Big Mac Combo for adults and Happy Meals for kids is a great example of this. Both meals contain hamburgers, fries and a drink while each is presented to their targeted consumer in a completely different way. For you and I, it is about value and good edible food for a reasonable price. For our kids it is about toys and fun.

However, even within a given demographic each customer’s tendency to purchase may be triggered by different cues. With modern technology, scientific and psychological research business is learning to focus on ever smaller slices of the population. Thanks to Google, you and I can view the same website on our computers but we will be served completely different advertisements based on our previous surfing history. A variety of approaches can be easily tested until the most effective message can be identified. Depending on the market they are in or the products that they sell, the methods a company employs to market and sell their wares vary widely.

The range of strategies to encourage customers to spend is really quite amazing. Some of the more interesting things include techniques such as aroma therapy. Disney, for example, pumps the smell of popcorn into the area around the park entrance. Some hotels and car dealerships have done the same, with their own custom brand aromas, to encourage customers to be in a more relaxed mood. Could it be the smell that draws the Financial Samurai back to the BMW dealer so often?

Companies test market colors of their stores and product packaging. Ever wonder why so many fast food restaurants and grocery stores feature orange in their color scheme? Orange makes you hungry!

Unless you have been living under a rock, surely you have noticed that most prices end with .99? While the effectiveness has been debated since this approach began in the late 1800’s, the sheer volume of practitioners indicates a strong belief in the studies that revealed that you will perceive an item as more affordable if it is priced at $19.99 vs. $20.00.

Marketing does not end with advertisements and commercials. When face to face with a salesman, they will use variety of methods called “closing techniques” to increase the likelihood that you will buy. They increase urgency; “the sale is only good till 6:00.” They will not give you a chance to say no by using an either/or close; “would you like me to delivery it or should I package to go?” They will play on your emotions; “certainly you want to provide the safest transportation for your children, buy this car and you’ll have it.”

Fighting Back

Welcome to the world of capitalism, this is business and these techniques have been developed over decades. Some call it marketing and merchandising while others see it as manipulation.

Consumers have expressed disgust when company’s unnecessarily bundle products to force them into purchasing more than they need (think cable). We have all felt “taken” by a slick salesman that convinced us to buy something we didn’t really want or need. The nickel and dime games from some company’s have also caused much chagrin (what, we have to buy a plane ticket for our luggage now?)

Businesses have been developing these and many other techniques over decades and will continue to develop new, more targeted and more sophisticated strategies to separate you from your money. As they say, “the best defense is a good offense. ” Learning about how companies market their products and why these strategies work will help you evade their traps.

Readers, as a consumer, have you ever felt a company took advantage of you? What pricing or marketing techniques anger you most? It may not feel good to be “played” but do we not have a society of caveat emptor or should company’s behavior be regulated?

The Lean Life Coach will be launching a new series on Eliminate The Muda! that explores popular sales and marketing techniques and how to combat them. Please take a look at his blog and subscribe to his RSS feed for more.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    Very interesting read! I had no idea about the depths companies will go to for a sale! Disney was a shocker! I guess if you’re a business and you don’t try everything (legally) to your advantage, you start losing to your competition.

    I am amazed about how deep the rabbit hole does though! It feels like we are being played :)

    Great article Lean Life Coach , thanks for making us aware!!!

    Money Reasons’s last blog ..My Views On Robert Kiyosaki’s Financial Books

  2. says

    I think marketing is a form of manipulation is it not? Manipulating your pre-conceived ideas of a product and convincing you to buy it.

    Interesting though that these companies really do stretch it out bording on mal-practice.

    Excellent stuff and very well written
    .-= TheInfoPreneur´s last blog ..I Rank Higher Than ProBloggers, But Make No Money =-.

  3. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says

    This is a great post and an appropriate place to air out the topic. I got here from Eliminate the Muda and am surprised at how different the comments are. I think the two venues combine to make quite an interesting conversation.

    When I went back to finish my degree, I actually decided to do it in marketing. While we discussed this topic informally in a few of our classes, it was on the syllabus in one. When does marketing move from communicating the right message to the right people and change into using Jedi mind tricks to make people pick your product and put it in their cart?

    While we all agreed preying on people’s fears to make them buy junk they don’t need at high margins is bad, most of us thought segmenting markets is good, using known psychology to optimize results is acceptable, and creating responses you then exploit is borderline (if not just plain evil). But most of us drew the line somewhere different. And we all thought the line was a tad fuzzy.

    Ironically, I think it might be fun to segment people’s opinion of marketing into different groups:) I bet the results would be interesting.

  4. says

    @Moneyreasons – It probably feels like you are being played because we often are. The line however is not just a legal one, they are few but clearly defined, it is also an ethical one. Herein lies the problem, the differing opinions of what is ethical and what is not.

    @TheInfoPreneur – You are right, any marketing to some extent is an effort to manipulate your decision to buy or not to buy. But when does it cross the line and just become wrong?

    @Aaron – Any tool can be used for good or for evil. I find it interesting that in your marketing classes this topic was not explored in much greater depth. In my real world experience marketing and sales are among the most common topics of discussion.

    The line is definitely fuzzy! Good thought about the segmentation of opinions. Where do you think you would see differences; gender, age or income?
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Combat The Closing Techniques – The Puppy Dog Close =-.

  5. says

    EXcellent and timely post! One marketing tactic I’ve seen that I think is plain wrong is deliberately trying to mislead the consumer. Anyone here recall ‘One-hour Martinizing’ (which I think is now out of business)? I’ll give you another example: One page of the Metro is dedicated to want ads for participants in research studies. Once in a while, I’ll take a quick look around to see if I can earn some easy cash without jeorpardizing my health. I don’t usually qualify as I’m relatively healthy, but one caught my eye as I fit the requirements. It was advertised as an ‘at-home trial’ so I called the company to find out that they were actually trying to sell me something! Their ‘at-home trial’ was a 30day free trial of their product! In addition to wording their ad to resemble a want ad for a research study, they placed it among other such want ads to deliberately mislead people. Wonder how many people called them and then ended up buying something they didn’t need!
    .-= thriftygal´s last blog ..No Longer An Investing Virgin: My foray into the stock market =-.

  6. says

    Greg-san,

    Bundling products reminds me of trying to get a bill through Congress. Always more junk on there (riders and pork) than one needs!

    Great examples of Listerine and pumping popcorn aroma in the air. Love it!

    Seems like if one builds it, someone will eventually come because there are so many people in the world, each with their own tastes. That’s the beauty of the internet. The entire darn world internet population is our potential customer!

    It definitely behooves us to read the fine print in everything we buy. Hopefully, as personal finance writers, we can reveal everything clearly and honestly, and then allow the consumer to decide.

    Best, Sam
    .-= admin´s last blog ..We Have Peanut Butter, But No Bread – Making Do With Less =-.

  7. says

    I really like this post. As long as the consumer researches products before buying and understands that every little thing in life is about marketing then they’ll be fine.

    I really can’t think of much that doesn’t have at least a little marketing or salemanship involved. Just look at all the things we do to market ourselves to women and vice versa. Finding that “right” person is about product positioning.

    I was just talking with a saleman this morning and he kept trying to up sell me on a product. He took my request for a product that was $125 and turned it into a $10,000 machine upgrade. He kept saying that my competitors are doing it and I need to as well. I don’t think so little man. I thanked him for his time and showed him the ing a gas pedal salemans tell you that Toyota is using these pedals and you should too. HAHA
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Giving It Up =-.

  8. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says

    @ LeanLifeCoach
    I think you’d see lines along income and age. I think there would be geographic differences that would be notable.

    One of the more clear divisions might not be demographic though, psychographic instead. So if you are selling biodegradable cleaning products in an “aggressive” manner, you will probably get push back. While a buyer of NASCAR memorabilia probably wouldn’t mind as much.

  9. Charlie says

    Wow that is crazy about Listerine and the popcorn thing at Disney. I know Thomas Pink stores always have the same smell which is a nice scent I really like. It hasn’t lured me to actually buy a shirt though, too pricey for me! :)

  10. says

    @Thriftygal – Even if we stretch the ideas of marketing to their extreme, intentionally misleading consumers should be considered something else all together. I think everyone would agree that is wrong. Strategic placement of ads is one thing but saying or implying something is free but then charging is like bait and switch, not good! We all want to to remain healthy, maybe you should consider avoiding the medical testing!

    @Samauri – Our mission is to educate, introduce and challenge. Congress and pork… never thought of it like that but you are on target, now I think that should be illegal! Thanks for the opportunity and support!

    @Aaron – A persons beliefs would certainly impact their opinion. We would also probably see dramatic difference based on the technique utilized. Some tactics are seen as much sneakier than others, just look at Thriftygals research studies.

    @Charlie – I would have to say Thomas Pink’s tactic worked great! You may not have bought buy you talking positively about them would indicate others will as well. Word of mouth is the most effective form of advertising. Maybe when they find this mention they will send you a freebie!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Combat The Closing Techniques – The Puppy Dog Close =-.

  11. says

    As I’m reading the post I was thinking about all of those increasingly annoying drug commercials, hawking miracle cures for diseases and ailments we didn’t even know existed. What’s the difference between present day drug company commercials and the perverbal snake oil salesmen of old???

    Ever notice how many drugs there are to fight depression? Is everyone depressed? Are we supposed to take a pill because we feel bad about life? The soothing voice tells us it’s not our fault, that it may be (read: IS) depression, and snakeoilathillin can help…ask your doctor (clinical validation) if snakeoilathillin is right for you…

    Two problems here. Sometimes we need to feel our pain in order to motivate us to take action to deal with problems that are very real and won’t be extinguished by a pill. And second, one pill inevitably leads us to take another. And if one drug therapy is good, then two is even better, and three…

    Total dependence is the end game. But brilliant marketing strategy, wouldn’t you say?
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..New Car or Used Car – Which is the Better Deal? =-.

  12. Edwin says

    As someone with a degree in marketing I think that nearly all marketing is in fact some form of manipulation. The big difference to me is the value of the product being sold. Most items on your local grocery shelf are extremely similar and the marketing consists of getting you to notice them but this doesn’t falsely inflate value.

    On the other hand something like freecreditreport.com I find to be extremely unethical. They market a service to you which you can get free elsewhere and then they tack on monthly charges because they make it difficult to leave their service. They clearly create no value to the customer yet they take your money.

  13. The Rat says

    Nice thread. It really highlights the importance of having a marketing strategy and how a solid one can reap major benefits for an organization.

    One recent example I suppose I can think of is Skype. I downloaded the free version for my iPhone because the marketing of the product indicated that I could communicate for FREE from iPhone to iPhone. So, I downloaded with excitement.

    As soon as I completed my first call, I was prompted to ‘buy skype credit’ and could not complete the call. Unless I read things the wrong way, its only the FIRST call that’s free! Don’t get me wrong, the service seems rather inexpensive on the whole, but it’s the principal. I feel like I was misled during the whole process. Is that marketing at its best? Or its worst!?

    Great thread – you have harnessed the power of the Katana :0)
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..Is A Housing Bubble Imminent? =-.

  14. says

    This is why it’s important to be a critical thinking consumer, use those higher-level thinking skills! If a product seems to good to be true, it probably is. If a product is boasting that it will change your life or make you cool (think beer commercials!), then it is moving into manipulation.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Making the Most of a 3-Day Weekend =-.

  15. says

    @Kevin – I find it hard to believe the drug commercials really work. They spend more time telling you about all the potential side effects including DEATH and then suggest you use the stuff! Then again, would they spend the money if it didn’t work?

    @Edwin – freecreditreport.com is a great example of crossing the line! But even at the grocery store we see similar issues. What about the foods that claim to “lower heart disease”, “strengthen immune system” or are “lightly-sweetened”, and “made with real fruit”? To your point however, there are lots of reputable companies, salesmen and products that genuinely deliver good value for your money. Unfortunately, as consumers we are often at a disadvantage. They spend all day figuring out how to get our money, we only spend a few minutes each day trying to keep it.

    @TheRat – “how a solid one can reap major benefits” or become a big liability! – I’m surprise by your skype comment, it must only be with the iPhone which I am too cheap to buy (even though I love it!). We do use skype on our laptops when I travel, it is a great way to stay connected with the kids. As for the Katana; be careful giving me anything sharp!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Why The GDP Needs A Makeover =-.

  16. says

    @Edwin
    I think you’re on to something with “They market a service to you which you can get free elsewhere”, not just with freecreditreport.com either.

    Look at all the debt settlement services, they’re adding fat fees on top of your debts to perform a service you could do yourself with some time and determination on the phone.

    I think these charging-for-what-we-could-do-ourselves ventures are roughly what’s called the service economy. Most of us are too timid to do these things ourselves and would rather pay someone else on the assumption of competance and an ability to represent our interests better than we can ourselves.

    Maybe that’s the price to be paid for lacking confidence!
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..New Car or Used Car – Which is the Better Deal? =-.

  17. says

    @Kevin – Personally I rarely take even aspirin. I am always amazed after all the disclaimers including death that anyone actually buy the medications. It must work or they wouldn’t do it, right?

    @Edwin – freecreditreport.com is a great example of going over the line. It sure doesn’t seem a great way to gain retained customers.

    @TheRat – Like any tool, it can be used for good or evil. Skype surprises me, we use it on laptops with webcams. When I travel it is a good way to stay in touch with the kids and we even get to play chess! Be careful giving me sharp objects! I might hurt myself.

    @LittleHouse – Agreed, beer does nothing for you. Bulldog on the other hand… ;-)

    @InvestorJunkie – I don’t know why but I feel compelled to order a book off half.com. Thanks for the suggestion it looks like a great book!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..Why The GDP Needs A Makeover =-.

  18. kosmo @ The Casual Observer says

    One of my degrees is in marketing (oddly, the other is in accounting). I had an entire class on consumer behavior. It is one of the few college books that I kept (I also have a nicely bound Riverside Shakespeare that I couldn’t fathom selling back to the book store for a few bucks).

    It was easily one of a handful of the most interesting classes I ever took (propaganda analysis probably ranked #1).

    btw, the reason you don’t see much blue food is because it’s an unappetizing color.

  19. says

    If people are too stupid to weigh the pros and cons of their purchasing decisions, let them suffer the consequences.

    It’s a free world people. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to buy!

  20. The Rat says

    @LeanLifeCoa – LOL – Yeah, I guess the Katana can only be spoken of by FS…My experience I am referring to with Skype is one that is less than 48 hours ago.

    I have an iPhone because when I left the workforce, it was my company phone and I was fortunate to be able to take it home with me at no cost. Since then, I’ve been trying to figure out inexpensive ways to communicate with others over wi-fi without a phone plan and the Skype software that is presently available has apparently been marketed for free calls between not just iPhones, but also IPod Touches as well. When you mention “become a big liability”, I’m sure there are others who may have succumbed to the strategy – in my case I just didn’t buy the credit and have moved on to look elsewhere.

    Everyone I talk to has used Skype and has had favorable experiences – which is what led me to downloading the software in the first place. The rates for credit are very reasonable, its just that not all my friends and family have an iPhone or iPod touch. For the last while, i’ve been using Ping!, a program that allows me to send free text messages to others over wireless connections and I was just seeking a way to talk for free, that’s all! If anybody knows, let me know!
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..Is A Housing Bubble Imminent? =-.

  21. says

    Nice history on Listerine. I use it everyday, but mainly to make my mouth feel fresh and to feel like im killing bad stuff in my mouth.

    First off nice writeup Lean Life Coach, and nice job Sam for having this guest post done.

  22. says

    @Kosmo – Blue food, sounds like an untapped niche market! With the right marketing maybe we could overcome the challenge and build a new conglomerate that we could sell to Buffett.

    @TheGenius – Buyer beware, right. Most capitalist agree with the idea but is it possible for marketers to cross the line? We probably also agree to this. Where is the line? That is the $64,000 question.

    @The Rat – More power to you for making the effort to find ways to use the iPhone. Sorry for not being more clear, I meant liability for a company if they go too far; think Paris Hilton and Carl’s Junior. They were blasted for poor taste and pulled it quickly.

    @Mr Finance – Thanks for the compliment. I’m honored by the opportunity to spend time on the Samurai’s site! I can’t help but wonder if this has forever changed the way you look at Listerine in the morning?
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..The Value Of DIY Is Greater Than Just Savings =-.

  23. Aaron @ Clarifinancial says

    @ The Rat
    I use Skype on my iPod Touch all the time. I’m pretty sure you can still make free Skype to Skype calls from the app, just like you can on your computer. If you are in the US or Canada, you can add an unlimited phone calling plan for around $3 a month. Since I do business in both countries, this severely cuts down on my phone bill.

    @Edwin I think it’s interesting that *part* of what you see as being ethical in marketing or not is value creation. So if a company doesn’t offer anything new and unique that can’t be had somewhere else for less, it is less ethical to market it than if the product created new value. Just to take that idea further, what if a product created an insane amount of value but used tactics that were less-than-desirable?

  24. says

    Awesome post, Greg. I’m really impressed.

    It’s amazing the lengths companies will go to in order to get you to buy their products. Wonderful thing about the internet is we can quickly research any bogus claims before we part with our hard-earned money. When salesman try to pull the hard close on me I always decline and head straight to the internet to do my homework (if I haven’t done so already). In a way the internet is almost making the classic salesman obsolete, because we don’t need them to explain about their products when we can (usually) find everything we need to know online.

    Since you mentioned Listerine I have to mention a similar funny story about turn-of-the-century after shave. We make a hazardous hydrocarbon called benzene that has carcinogenic properties, and when I was researching materials that are compatible with benzene I found the Wikipedia entry reported it was widely marketed as an after shave because of its sweet smell. If any of our employees are exposed to even the lowest of benzene levels they’re rushed to the infirmary for treatment, but marketers 100 years ago had men splashing it on their faces!

    I also read a story about a prison warden who had the walls of the prison painted some shade of pink because it was reported to have a soothing effect. The opposite happened – the prisoners rioted because they said the color looked “sissy”. Guess he should have left the marketing to the professionals.

    I think caveat emptor is still the best approach. Do your homework and the slick commissioned salespeople won’t be able to take advantage of you. Last thing we need is for the government to get more involved in our lives.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Easy ways to improve your memory =-.

  25. says

    @LeanLifeCoach
    Greg-san, you write “That is the “$64,000 question.” What is the history behind the $64,000 question, b/c I’ve heard the $100,000,000 question etc as well.

    @Aaron @ Clarifinancial
    If the product created an insane amount of value, but used less than shady tactics….. well, I think the product lives on and the marketing arm ,or company does not, if that makes any sense.

    For example, some company created soap, but was really shady saying it will cure cancer or something. That company dies, but soap lives on!

  26. The Rat says

    @Aaron@Calrinfinancial – That’s exactly what I thought, but when my brother-in-law tried calling me from iPhone to iPhone (and vice versa) using Skype, we were both prompted to buy credit. If I find myself doing more travel, I may buy some credit, but in the meantime, I’m gonna give it a another try!

    I tried contacting Skype about it but couldn’t find an e-mail address, just a boat load of help files. Gonna dig a bit deeper.

    Thanks a lot for the information. Cheers, The Rat
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..Is A Housing Bubble Imminent? =-.

  27. says

    @David – The story if pink is interesting. You reminded me of a news story I saw on it many years ago. Turns out “When used in prisons, inmates often become even more agitated once they become accustomed to the color.” – It works, just don’t leave them in there long!

    @Samurai-san – The $64,000 Question was a game show in the late 50′s. Before my time but if I recall correctly it turned out to be a complete fraud. The would put contestants inside booths that were heated to make them sweat but then feed them answers so they could win.
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..The Space Pencil =-.

  28. says

    Thanks for the info Greg-san! Back to marketing or manipulation, I was once “manipulated” into spending $200 bucks on these awesome baseball and basketball playing cards 10 yrs ago! Got myself one of Shaq’s rookies, and a couple other neat ones. Too bad they bundled all the good with 90% junk!

    I would have been better just buying only what I needed, surgically. Junk is junk. I dislike holding inventory and having too much clutter.

    That said, the infocommercial folks are GENIUSES! Slap chop, snuggie, set it and forget it!

  29. Edwin says

    @ Aaron @ Clarifinancial

    Well value can be defined in multiple ways, unique isn’t a requirement. For example car companies all provide a way for you to get from point A to point B. In contrast to a company like Toyota, a luxury manufacturer like BMW provides value to it’s customers with the image it provides them which prices the cars above and beyond their hardware costs.

    As for your second question, I can’t really think of an example so this could be hit or miss. If a product is insanely desirable, undesirable tactics generally decrease the value. For example if that tactic were to be a tacked-on fee that people don’t notice (a-la freecreditreport), you are paying more for the item and thus it’s losing value.

    On the other hand the tactic could just be a certain type of tasteless advertising campaign (like Paris Hilton for Burger King) wherein it doesn’t necessarily affect the monetary value of the item but it affects the image of the brand and thus the total value a customer might get from it. Another example of something like this would a company using loose labor laws in another country (Nike) to their advantage. In this case the cost to the consumer is in fact lowered, but the value also is lowered because they aren’t willing to do business with a company that uses child labor.

  30. Katherine says

    Advertisers take advantage of consumers all the time. They study our shopping habits in every way like the Lean Life Coach said. There are people who make it their life’s work to study and watch videos of people in stores. The information these people get from the videos is then interpreted to mean something about how a consumer acts in a store. Then after interpretation the information is sold to companies so they can better manipulate and get the consumer to spend every dime they have. It does not surprise me that there are companies like Lambert Pharmacal Company would make up a fake illness to scare consumers into buying a product. The advertisers have made us think so many different things of all the products around us today. Take the iPhone for one very obvious example. The iPhone is advertised as a music player for teens and young hip kids who love listening to music. Then it is also shown as an awesome way to play videogames online for those who take gaming as their interest. Finally for the older more business like people among us, the iPhone is great for keeping up on email, sales presentations, and web communication. The manipulation is everywhere the consumer just needs to bother to think about what the advertisers are shoving down our throats. The advertisers even try to manipulate the consumer on everyday items like the gas we put in our car. Believe it or not there is no such thing as nine tenths of a cent, so why do we pay for nine tenths of a cent when we are paying for gas? The consumer is not even partially paying for nine tenths of a cent because for every gallon that nine tenths of a cent gets added to another nine tenths of a cent making one cent and another eight tenths of a cent. Well the consumer gets to then pay for that eight tenths of a cent with, guess what one cent. The oil companies are ripping the consumer off on so many levels, and that is not even considering that the oil pumps we rely on are not anywhere near as accurate as the advertisers would try to make us believe.

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  32. Julie says

    @TheInfoPreneur
    It is definately manipulation. Some companies actually resort to lying until they are found out and product packaging must be changed. Granola cereal is marketed as ‘healthy’; we have to read the caloric chart to see that it is not! This is why I will not work in retail- I feel I am ripping people off!

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