Is this the world's most shameless branding?

Chemist Warehouse sign
(Image credit: Chemist Warehouse)

Advertising sometimes makes some bold claims, if not to say that it can be altogether misleading. Some brands attempt to excuse themselves with rather pitiful disclaimers, and shoppers in Australia are spotting what may be one of the most flagrant cases.

People have long known Chemist Warehouse as 'Australia's cheapest chemist'. That's what the tagline says on its website and storefronts. Or does it? On social media, people are noticing that if you dig out your binoculars (or one of the best camera phones with a good zoom), there's a tiny detail that changes everything.

Chemist Warehouse sign

Chemist Warehouse's branding contains an easily missed detail (Image credit: Chemist Warehouse)

On its Twitter account, Chemist Warehouse uses the tagline 'Australia's cheapest chemist'. But people are noticing that on its website and on at least some of its physical stores, two crucial words appear in very small type before that. The words read 'Is this?' turning the phrase from an affirmation into a question.

Chemist Warehouse

On this store, the additional words appear to have been tacked on later (Image credit: Chemist Warehouse, shared on Reddit)

As well as being grammatically questionable with a question mark slapped in the middle of the phrase, it seems very sneaky of the brand to make the disclaimer so small. On the website, the 'is this?' is illegible (see above), and in some physical stores, the phrase appears to have been appended in the brand's blue and yellow colours as an afterthought. They're not exactly the best billboard advertising

So is Chemist Warehouse Australia's cheapest chemist? It does promise a price match guarantee, but that's not quite the same thing. According to 7news, people on social media are expressing surprise at having only recently noticed the disclaimer in the tagline. See our guide to the best print ads for less sneaky advertising inspiration.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.