5 Bold Lies Companies Tell to Keep Us Happy

Five Guys were supposed to be the chosen one. But look at this nonsense they pull
5 Bold Lies Companies Tell to Keep Us Happy

They say that to tell whether a politician is lying, you just need to check whether their lips are moving. With companies, it’s a little harder, because companies often don’t have lips. For simplicity’s sake, you must assume they’re always lying. Sometimes, these lies kill you, while other times, the goal is just to leave you with a smile on your own lips as you go on buying their product. Consider, for example, how...

Cigarette Filters Were Designed to Change Color Without Filtering Anything

In the 1950s, with evidence increasingly tying cigarettes to lung cancer, calls grew for a safer cigarette, including one that filtered the smoke for you. Surprisingly, this suited cigarette companies just fine. A filtered cigarette would require less tobacco, and since the material for filters costs nothing compared to tobacco, this saved the companies money. Companies created a new and effective filter, made of asbestos.

Kent microlite filters


Breathe easy, with the sweet taste of asbestos.

These filters created a problem. Well, they created two problems — the second being that asbestos itself leads to lung disease, but even before that became known, asbestos filters created a problem for sales. Filtering cigarette smoke removed all the taste. People didn’t simply like cigarettes for the nicotine hit but for everything else that the smoke made them experience. To keep people smoking, cigarette companies had to switch to a filter that maybe removed some particulate matter but didn’t remove too much.

The new filter used a material called cellulose acetate. The way manufacturer R.J. Reynolds designed it, it would change color when smoke passed through it. Naturally, everyone assumed this yellowing resulted from tar being trapped before it could reach their lungs, but this was untrue. The inventor (Claude Teague) designed the filter to change color as a response to touching smoke in much the way a strip of litmus paper turns red when it hits acid. He could have made a filter that stayed white, but he noted that a misleading indicator would increase sales

Filters in a new and used cigarette

Akroti/Wiki Commons

It really is a suspiciously clean and solid discoloration.

As it is, smoking a cigarette with a filter will not reduce your risk of cancer at all. Though the filter removes some tar (a process it could do with or without the color change), you puff more when each puff has less tar, canceling that benefit. For this reason, cigarettes that reduce tar or other bad stuff are no longer allowed to market themselves as “low-tar” or “light.” You might not have noticed if you don’t smoke, but Marlboro Lights aren’t a thing anymore. They’re called Marlboro Gold now. The new name arguably sounds cooler, and it isn’t a lie because it doesn’t actually say anything.

Orange Soda, With Pulp

In 1910, soda was relatively new. Chemists were still coming up with new preparations, and the public didn’t understand what was in them. Into this market came a new contender, Ward’s Orange Crush. Today, you just know it as Crush, an orange soda made by Dr. Pepper. Back then, it was still an orange soda, but it included orange pulp. That pulp signaled to your mouth that it contained fresh juice, for sure.

It didn’t contain juice. It was flavored using grated orange peel — which is a perfectly legitimate way of adding orange flavor to food, but people don’t find the idea so palatable as drinking real juice. For the first decade of operations, Crush contained no juice and fooled plenty of people into thinking it did. Then people got wise (maybe by such complex forensic techniques as reading the ingredients on the label), and so, Crush switched to including juice. It was now mostly grated peel, soda water and sugar, but also had some juice, too.

Poster for Ward's Orange Crush, c. 1921

via Wiki Commons

And came with an award-worthy tagline: “Like oranges?” 

Shortly after that, the company realized this wasn’t an efficient way of making beverages for soda fountains, so they dispensed with the juice and the pulp going forward. What it lost in freshness, it gained in shelf life. Buy a bottle of orange soda today, and it can last longer than you will. 

Extra French Fries Aren’t Really Extra

If there’s one thing people like more than fresh food, it’s free food. That’s why it’s such a treat to find some extra fries in the bottom of your fast food bag. Some people throw these away, thinking eating food right off the bag is gross, but these people are foolish. The paper bag’s as clean as the fry carton, and those bag fries are good for eating.

Five Guys food and drinks

LN9267/Wiki Commons

Sometimes, even the bag is pretty tasty.

Over at the chain Five Guys, it’s policy to always add some loose fries to the customer’s bag. Customers are consistently delighted to receive this apparently accidental bonus.

And how much does it cost the chain to give customers these extra fries? Nothing. Because it’s not really extra if it’s the exact amount the restaurant always planned on giving you, now is it? They just choose to drop some fries loose instead of making containers big enough to hold them all. So, don’t relish the thought of having Five Guys inside you. You’ve fallen right into their trap. 

There’s No Such Thing as a Teacup Pig

If you’re in the market for a new pet with a cute little snout, and you don’t happen to own an entire farm, you might be interested in buying a miniature pig, rather than a full-size one. A mini pig is smaller than a regular pig, you can be sure about that. The only problem is a fair number of people have no idea about the size of a regular pig, and they have even less of an idea how big a mini pig gets.

Mini pigs go by various names, none of which are regulated by anyone. Sometimes, they’re called nano pigs, which sounds even smaller than mini. Sometimes, they’re called teacup pigs, and while teacups are bigger than a nanometer, this somehow sounds even smaller because teacups are so cute. 

Pig Pet Pals Collectible Figurine

Pacific Giftware Store

Here’s a piggy in a teacup! It’s a figurine, because pigs can’t really fit in teacups. 

A teacup pig will really grow up to be at least 150 pounds and might also be a few dozen pounds more than that. The only reason we’d call them “miniature” anything is that other pigs can grow to be four times that. We bred regular pigs for their meat, while we bred these mini breeds for medical research. Smaller was better here, but we never got them puppy size.

miniature pig

Vassil/Wiki Commons

No, this isn’t a 600-pounder. This is an adult mini pig.

Plenty of families who buy teacup pigs become horrified when the cute piggy never stops growing. They rarely butcher the pet for bacon, as they lack the skill, but they may send the pet off to a pig sanctuary. Here, the pig’s probably happier than it would have been in your house, so at least someone got out of this story with a happy ending. 

Victoria’s Secret Claimed to Be British

“I know Victoria’s Secret,” says the old American folk song. “She’s an old man who lives in Ohio... She was made up by a dude.” This is true, though the old man in Ohio and the dude who made her up were two different people. The Ohio man is 86-year-old Les Wexner, whose business has owned Victoria’s Secret since 1982. The dude who founded the brand was Roy Raymond, who ended up throwing himself off the Golden Gate Bridge to his death after he saw the company did much better without him.

Under Wexner, the Victoria’s Secret headquarters moved from California to Ohio. This would not sound terribly exciting to customers, so all catalogues listed the headquarters as exotic, sophisticated London. The address was fake, and people had no way of knowing. 

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Megan Puleri

via Fandom, Kevin Tachman

Here’s a VS model from England and one from Ohio, to move past that sort of discrimination.

American customers dug this false advertising because London sounded far sexier than Ohio. But Ohio gave us Katie Holmes, Halle Berry and Carmen Electra, while London birthed Alfred Hitchcock, Jack the Ripper and James Corden, so we must conclude American customers had no idea what they were talking about. 

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