The Effect of Misleading Consumers

March 10, 2017

Allegations, False and Misleading, Full Retractions…can it get any better than this?

Guest Article By: Warren Leslie


I habitually pick up the morning newspaper of the 24hrs Toronto edition on my daily commute to school. Perhaps my conscious was telling me that I would be in for a treat finding a good read and yet, immediately following that It just so happened that I came across the headline “Does Subway Contain 100% Real Chicken? And please, I urge you to re-read the quoted phrase, and let it sync in. So you have now read the headliner twice, tell me your initial thoughts?

According to “The Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensics Centre in Ontario, it’s been found that the genetic material in Subway’s sweet onion chicken teriyaki strips was only just over 40% chicken while its oven roasted chicken was only about 50% with the rest soy in both cases” reported by 24 hours Toronto.

It’s funny, because it seems like just yesterday that I was devouring a sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub.

As I get into the (meat) of my article I can guarantee you, as I write this I do not find it amusing as to what the reports indicate. The central theme analyzes brands misleading consumers, which is no stranger to the world we live in today; however if it’s that simple to falsely claim a stance on a product or service provided, then just imagine the backlash of the consumer. It won’t sit well I’ll tell you that.

Consumers are the lifeline of a brand, playing a major role in brand awareness, advocacy, and most importantly product sales. To attain longevity, brands must commit to these key criteria’s or you may just have yourself a brand that will ultimately die.

So, now comes the point, how important are consumers?

They are the ones that directly or indirectly affect the profit margin of the company. Customer feedback can lead you to create strategies for customer satisfaction and ultimately, drive your sales.

Brand Perception: Virality can change a brand in an instant, all because of the consumer. Something as simple as word of mouth can make companies be dependent on the consumer voice whether it is through social media or person to person. With incidences as such, brands negate the action of the customer journey process. In 2017, brand perception is everything. Just look at previous misleading representations and deceptive marketing with Naked Juice, and Volkswagen which I will touch on later.

Creative Advertisements: Can you imagine another OOH (Out Of Home) advertisement for a Subway campaign, with the chicken between the buns? It is human nature for people to remember the negative events more than positive ones, causing even more of a rift between consumer and brand.

The twitter hashtag “#Dieselgate” in reference to the Volkswagen emissions scandal which not only hurt the vehicles brand image in which the brand still is in progress to make amends, but on the other hand customers continue to be reluctant to purchase the product or the very least recommend their products.

In short, Customers are the most important people for any organization, complimentary to customer satisfaction which is important as a leading indicator of consumer repurchase intentions and loyalty. What prompts a consumer to purchase a particular product and what stops them from buying it; well, the effect of misleading consumers.


To press on a keyboard is one and the same of a stroke of a brush, the creation is what you believe to be a masterpiece”. – Warren. Hello readers, my name is Warren Leslie and I occasionally fiddle with my words, thus being the instrument to my ears. Warren is a Movie Buff, Conversationalist, and Millennial, the whole package if you must! Warren, is a current student at Humber College, studying Advertising and Marketing Communications, and intends to bring passion to the industry he so dearly loves. Let me leave you with this, I’m a man of many words, hopes, and dreams, connect with me on LinkedIn, the home of professionals, Cheers!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Mark A. July 26, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Great Article!

  • Let us know what you think!