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November 19, 2021

The world's most bizarre business promotions

By now, many of our readers have heard about that bizarre business promo out of Florida this week, where a car dealer offered customers a free AK-47 with purchase of a vehicle.

No, really. Nations Trucks, in Sanflord, Fla., is still running the deal now – you buy a car, you get a voucher worth $400 towards an assault rifle, to be redeemed at a later date.

Ridiculous? Of course. Isolated? No, no, no. Michael Moore fans will remember that scene in Bowling For Columbine where the director opens up a bank account and scores a free gun, too, but wacky bargains like these are, remarkably, quite common.

So, on the Friday before a weekend, here are a few more weird business promotions of years past:

1) Free brothel entry for life if you get the bawdy house’s name tattooed on your arm: According to the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Pascha, a Cologne, Germany, brothel, put signs for the above promo in its gentlemen’s club as a joke in 2008 – only to find a rush of men looking to take advantage. About 40 men actually took to a tattoo parlour to get Pascha inked on their arms in big blue letters, but the deal isn’t exactly what it seems. While the guys get to skip on the cover charge and receive discounts on lap dances and the like, they still have to pay for their alone time with the brothel’s prostitutes, who are self-employed and independent from the house.

2) Shoe discount for throwing one at Bush: Remember back when that Iraqi journalist whipped a shoe at George W. Bush? Turns out the incident became big business. A shoe store in China posted a circus-type target of the former U.S. President shortly after, awarding discounts of up to 50 per cent off if they hit Bush right in the mug. According to Ananova, “several hundred pairs” of shoes flew off shelves during the promo.

3) Buy some stationery, get a free ham: In 2009, Office Depot ran this bizarre promo offering free ham if you spent $150 at the store. Sadly, there was no actual pig handed out at the retailer; a certificate was offered instead.

4) Mosquito repellent – yours free with feminine hygiene wash:Easily the most suggestive promo on this mini list, an Oddee.com reader found this beauty in a grocery store in Manila; buy feminine hygiene wash, get a free packet of Off! mosquito repellent. Disclaimer: reporting on this promo in no way reflects how EverydayMoney feels about Filipino women. Certainly, the pairing of these two products is purely coincidence.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money

(*Image courtesy: Ananova.com)



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...