63 Myths And Misconceptions Corporations Spread That Some People Mistakenly Believe Are Actually True

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Every day, companies bombard us with information. From new product launches and appealing adverts to very big statements and generous promises backed up by questionable research at best, they still manage to earn our trust up to a point we don’t question them.

But this illuminating thread from Ask Reddit challenges the things we take for granted and debunks the myths created by big corporations. "What do most people believe that is actually a myth created by corporate companies?" someone asked and the eye-opening responses started pouring in.

From big pharma to the sugar industry, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that we may be believing in stuff that benefits no one except the ones who are earning big money.


That the public is responsible for all the plastic pollution.

Anybody remember that ad campaign with the crying Indian guy? Before then soda companies were selling their soda in nice easily wash-n-reuse glass bottles. When they made the switch to plastic because it was cheaper, and the garbage started to collect, they decided to shift the blame onto YOU the consumer.

Image credits: anon


"detoxing", and **any** product that promotes it.

Image credits: goldfishpaws


That it's in YOUR best interest to keep your rate of pay a secret, when in fact it's exactly the opposite. If it's taboo to talk about how two employees doing exactly the same job can be paid wildly different wages.

Image credits: warrantyvoiderer


Apparently big Sugar companies pushed the agenda that Fat is the cause for all your health and weight problems.

Image credits: poopellar


That you should devote 5 days a week to the company you work for and only 2 days a week for yourself. You should be spending the majority of your life with family and friends, doing what you enjoy. Not slaving away for someone else.

Image credits: nicsaweiner


That the ink cartridge is actually empty.

Image credits: ImOverThereNow


The McDonald's Hot Coffee woman wasn't some kind of trashy scammer, she was an elderly woman who had incredibly bad burns and could have possibly died as a result of health complications. McDonald's launched a covert campaign to make it seem like she was just trying to make some quick cash as part of a trend of frivolous lawsuits.

Edit: For anyone who says "It was just a little burn that she is responsible for" The coffee gave her 3rd degree burns and literally melted her flesh, fusing part of her genitals to her leg which required massive reconstructive surgery and hospitalization.

Image credits: CryptidCodex


“Buy our split end repairing shampoo and conditioner! It’ll get all of those pesky split ends!!!”

Once the end is split it’s split. How is a shampoo supposed bring the ends back together? The only way to get rid of split ends is to cut your hair.

Image credits: anon


That diamonds are actually rare making them expensive and that an engagement ring should be 3 months salary. Screw you Debeers.

Image credits: thanto13


The food pyramid.

Image credits: HeyT00ts11


We actually don’t need a lot of toothpaste on the brush, but companies advertise using a whole bunch in commercials to make you run out faster.

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That expiration dates on food products are this black and white rule as to whether something is good or bad. The FDA doesn’t require expiration dates and are completely up to the discretion of the manufacturer.

It’s a tactic to get you to buy/consume more.

Image credits: muSICKK__


That the HR department is here to help the employees.

Image credits: GooberMcNutly


Christmas and Easter as we know it were mostly designed in the 1950s.

Image credits: anon


Here in Sweden there is an extremely persistent myth that you *should* eat 6-8 slices of bread every day.

That was a commercial campaign by a bread manufacturer. Some way they managed to get the Public Health Institute to pass that myth on. It was like 50 years ago, and that myth still lives!

I'm so sick and tired of that myth.

I also think the "6-8 slices of bread a day" campaign has been one of the most successful examples in world history of myths created by corporate companies.

Image credits: anon


Natural, healthy human teeth are more yellow than white. This is because teeth appeared whiter on Black and White film, and stars began to dye/bleach them whiter to match how they appeared on film.

In 1918, it was discovered that a heated lamp in conjunction with hydrogen peroxide would lighten teeth. A dentist in the late 1960’s discovered that after prescribing an overnight soak in carbamide peroxide, the teeth were significantly whiter.

Image credits: CryptidCodex


You lose your warranty if you break the tamper seal (ie. “Warranty void of seal is broken” stickers).

“... warranty conditions that forbid consumers from opening or repairing their devices are illegal under a provision of the 1975 Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act”




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That you look like s**t without makeup.

Image credits: juustforthis


That Vitamin Water is actually healthy for you. 120 Calories, most of that sugar.

Image credits: JayTrim


If you truly loved them, than it is absolutely *essential* to spend an outrageous sum of money on a box to bury in the ground. The average price in the U.S. for a coffin in $2,100.

Image credits: renoCow


Valentines day

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People forget that college is a business. To make money.

It has its place, of course, but the intense pressure for EVERYone to attend is completely insane to me, especially considering the need for tradespeople.

Image credits: heatherkan


The alpha and beta wolves thing showing a hierarchy of people. No, they were actually just wolf parents parenting their pups. The researcher even went back in a book and explained he was wrong. So next time you're called "alpha" or "beta" it doesn't actually exist.


Scented feminine hygiene products are needed because you smell bad.


That eating fat (as in the macronutrient in general) makes you fat. This is why we have so many low-fat or reduced-fat versions of foods where the fat is just replaced with cheap sugar, and sugar actually makes you fat.

It all boils down to the marketing. The issue lies within foods being sold as low-fat substitutes of the original and being marketed as healthier options, when really, the fat is substituted for sugar, which can be even worse for you.

To all the people saying what do you mean? fat is 9 calories per gram and sugar is 4. Correct. But do you think it's better to eat 9 cals of fat, or sub it with 9 cals of sugar. Eating fat is actual required for your body to burn fat, and is vital for all types of bodily functions. Sugar, on the other hand, skyrockets your blood glucose, resulting in the secretion of insulin, and when insulin is high, it's much harder to burn fat.

If you cut all the fat from your diet, you can have hormonal issues, potential joint pain, s**t digestion, no libido. Cut all the sugar (not carbs in general, just processed sugar) and you'll probably lose some weight and feel awesome!

We can go on for days here. The point is, if you're going to opt for a low-fat version of a food, take a peek at the ingredients and see what you're consuming instead!

Image credits: muchostouche


Eating carrots does not improve one's vision.

The British government put this out as an explanation as to why their (supposedly carrot-eating) RAF pilots were able to shoot down enemy Luftwaffe fighters before being detected by the enemy.

The truth has nothing to do with carrots. The British had invented a primitive form of radar and didn't want the Nazis knowing about it.


Telling people your salary will make people think less of you. In reality sharing your salary especially with coworkers with the same/similar positions will allow you to negotiate for a higher wage or even form a union with ease

Image credits: Lundy98


When someone dies their family has no legal reason to pay their debts. It is a myth that the banking industry isn't about to correct.

Image credits: ChokingTermite


"When you care enough to send the very best," you'd better make it a Hallmark card.

Hallmark wants you to believe that sending their expensive greeting cards somehow proves your feelings for someone else.

Image credits: Back2Bach


That putting a lime in a Corona is a time-honored Mexican custom, when the combination was actually invented in the United States in the early ‘80’s.

Image credits: wanderinghome


Gluten free is better than with gluten for everyone. Physiologically it only helps coeliacs or those with mild sensitivity to gluten. According to the research so far doesn't make a difference in anybody else. And yet the gluten free market went up like crazy


‘Drink 3 litres of water per day’ is a complete myth with no scientific backing, created by water bottle companies. Yes, it’s important to drink water, but once you get past a certain point all you’re doing is spending money for something that goes in, does nothing, and then gets excreted.


The idea of Type A and Type B personalities were essentially created by tobacco companies that promoted the initial study. The study found that Type A personalities had an increased risk of coronary artery disease and, conveniently enough, would also smoke more because those hard workers need the stress relief.

This would let tobacco companies deflect the blame on any studies showing the association between heart disease and tobacco by saying that their personality type was the confounding factor.

Image credits: The_Vikachu


That drinking milk from a cow is important for your health. Many other foods have plenty of calcium and are more nutritious.


That mattresses need to be replaced every 8 years.


This has already been stated, but milk is not good for bones nor does it have amazing health benefits. I love milk but it was all created by the big milk companies to push out more milk. They even did a study back in like the 50s or 60s where they had women lose weight with healthy diet that included milk and tried to say it was the milk that helped the weight loss... Pretty sure it was the low calorie, veggie based meals they had with that milk.

Along that line of thought, most "diet" foods or processed foods designed to be "healthy" usually aren't healthier at all. They just wanted to Target both health concious and non health concious people at once. If it comes in a box, it probably still kinda bad for you. The best option is always gonna be whole foods with the least processing. But that doesn't make people money.

Which leads to another big corporate lie: the fad diets that sell things like detox teas and diet pills. A lot of people may claim that "diets never work" and "you can't lose weight by just eating less and exercising" but that's just cause that kind of weight loss doesn't lead to profits for them. So they try to make you think you can't do it yourself, you have to pay money for pills and plans and drinks that will do the work for you.


The old advertising agency saying is that Johnson & Johnson's most lucrative invention wasn't Listerine; it was "halitosis."


There’s this weird idea among some women that pads are inferior to tampons, or that only young girls or virgins use pads. This was actually perpetuated by tampon companies in the 60s or 70s I believe, when the link between Toxic Shock Syndrome and tampons was made. Pad companies latched onto this and started marketing their product as cleaner, so tampon companies countered by marketing their product as for mature, professional women. This was particularly effective at the height of Second Wave feminism when women were struggling to be taken more seriously in the workplace. So effective that this perception still exists today even though there’s no logical basis and no one even really knows WHY they think this way. You can sort of still see it in commercials today, where pad commercials are usually just someone pouring blue liquid on a pad while in tampon commercials there’s usually a woman dancing around or playing a sport or something equally not fun to do while you’re on your period.

Image credits: sappharah


That cows need to be milked.

It's not quite a *myth*, but it's lacking some pretty important [context](https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/30/dairy-scary-public-farming-calves-pens-alternatives) - specifically, that they have to give birth to induce lactation, just like humans. However, their milk production dries up after a while, when their calves would've been moving onto eating grass, so they need to be re-impregnated again. The calves are sort of surplus to this process, so they're taken away shortly after they're born.

Edit: Cows also "need to be milked," because we've bred them to produce as much milk as freaking possible, even when it [negatively impacts their health](http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/farm/hsus-the-welfare-of-cows-in-the-dairy-industry.pdf).


That cell phones can actually interfere with aircraft systems.

They can’t. All cell phone signals are either digital, like WiFi, which can’t interfere with any other device (take note that you can have multiple devices on the same WiFi network with no trouble); or the cell phone uses radio bands outside the communications bands used by aviation and therefore can’t interfere. And besides, all the wires and electronics in airplanes are shielded from these signals anyway.

Image credits: FlyJunior172


Expiration dates on some canned and dry goods.

EDIT: I said some. Not all. Some.


“We’ll stand by our warranty” —Circuit City one week before they closed.


Change your oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Was created by car repair shops to gain more business. Motor oil companies say you can go 5000-7500 miles or 6 months. Owners manuals even say it.

As a mechanic here is my 2 cents. Change that oil and filter twice a year, first week of spring and first week of fall. Do a motor flush once every 2 years. Splurge on tires when it’s time to replace and try to get ethanol free gas if you can, if you can’t, use a fuel additive once a month. Don’t forget about your spark plugs, they are the most underrated component on your engine.


That all speakers have actual tweeters


That "organic" necessarily means "better for you and/or the environment. I try and tell my mom: "This is all just lifestyle marketing: you are literally paying an extra dollar for nothing more than a label that has absolutely nothing to do with how healthy something is or how good for the environment it is, just how much they can get you to think that they are. They are blatantly and shamelessly ripping you off." and she just refuses to buy the normal stuff.


That you can shrink your pores.


That formula is healthier for infants than breast milk


that “organic” label doesn’t mean it’s actually “healthy”


That if you work hard, keep your head down and do the right thing - corporations will reward you as being a valued member of the company.
about 15 years after you've joined the grad programme you realise that is the ultimate way to get exploited by a company and not how (m)any bosses got their positions :-)
Smart people should work for themselves or creative industries ...


That America is a super letigious nation, and that the courts are overfull with frivolous law suits.

Myth created by McDonalds and others hoping to get people to reconsider suing them for genuine reasons. This came about after the infamous spilt hot coffee lawsuit.


That GMO is bad, courtesy of the organic farming industry.


Certain colors being associated with genders. Pink and blue becoming girls' and boys' colors wasn't a thing until the mid-1900s as a way to sell more clothes.

Edit: I did some more research to check myself and the line is more blurry than I initially learned. For instance, it's debated whether corporations put out these color associations on their own accord, or whether it was a response to a growing cultural inclination. There are a few theories about why culture might have inclined itself to specify genders in the mid-later-1900s:

-The post-WW2 return of men to the workforce and ideas of a working class, nuclear family might have emphasized a need to reinforce gender roles (stay at home mother and working father) through a set color differentiation.

-A growing trend of parents doing pre-birth gender reveals led to a growing need for gender differentiation.

-The decision that pink should represent femininity might be traced to a series of icons in pop culture such as Jackie Kennedy on the day of the JFK assassination, Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, etc.

-An, albiet less common, theory posits that pink badges worn by homosexual men in Nazi concentration camps led to the idea that pink is a symbol for femininity.

There was actually solid evidence dating back to pre-WW1 of the idea of gender signification with blue and pink, but it was either conflicting or the opposite of what we know today. Most of the evidence was from corporations, so that may be evidence to support my post.


That fats are generally bad for you.


Pork isn’t the other white meat, because it’s a red meat! Big pork was trying to get people to buy more of it, so they came up with the slogan so people would think it’s as healthy as chicken. It’s not, it just so happens to be white when cooked.


That their specfic investment managers can beat the market consistently. Latest research shows only 3% could consisentely outperform in excess of fees. News Flash all the firms don't have top 3% people.


The idea of "teen culture"--that adolescents need to have their own everything that is different from their parents. Invented by advertisers to sell new lines of product.


Isn't most of how we perceive Father Christmas essentially a creation of Coca-Cola?


wash, rinse, repeat


That prom is supposed to be the best night of your entire life.

In my opinion, prom isn't that big of a deal, but you see in movies and books and in advertisements by corporations that it's supposed to be a magical night, so you spend thousands of dollars on great dresses and hair and makeup and suits and flowers and prom-posals and post-prom parties and all that stuff so people think that's just expected.


That 'natural' ingredients in skin and healthcare are better for you than 'unnatural' ones.


A lot of the on sale yellow clearance tags at Lowes that say something like WAS $44.99 NOW $24.99 is fake because when I look it up in the system it still shows MSRP as $24.99 and under that is the ADVT or advertised price and that is usually blank. Not on sale just a ploy to get you to buy it. If it sounds too good to be true ask someone to look it up under 5.1 in Genesis. Everyone has access to it. Also it's easier if you can give us the item number from the tag. Its also often on the item itself. A 6 digit number.


Mavis Beacon doesn't actually teach typing— because *she doesn't exist*!


The need to shave is at least, in part, a corporate cultural creation.

Gillette ran extensive advertisements in the early 20th century convincing men that a smooth shave would increase their sex appeal to women.

No company gets rich when you just let your hair grow.

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