Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Black Friday ads begin circulating online

October 23, 2009

Every year retailers (at least some of them) fight to keep their Black Friday deals and discounts a secret. And every year, they wind up being leaked (or intentionally distributed) online.

crwodThose holiday ads are now starting to crop up online.

BF Ads sent an email to subscribers yesterday, saying it has posted what appears to be OfficeMax‘s 48-item Black Friday ad.

“We originally hesitated on posting this advertisement because it appears to be a very early revision of their Black Friday advertisement. There are multiple misspellings (e.g. “consule” instead of “console” and “brower” instead of “browser”) and bad grammar throughout most of the advertisement,” said in its email.

“On the positive side, all of the items look legitimate (correct SKU #’s) and the prices aren’t out of the ordinary for a Black Friday advertisement. ”

But buyer beware. By Friday afternoon the ad had been pulled from the site and there was a  link to a cease and desist letter from Office Max’s lawyers.

“Not only is most or all of the information is disseminating regarding OfficeMax advertisements and sales false or misleading, such information is also misapproriated OfficeMax confidential information,” the letter states.

BF Ads said it was their first cease and desist letter of 2009 and it “touches on some of the reasons why we were hesitant to post the advertisement in the first place.”

“While we warn that no advertisements released early on this site should be regarded as ‘official,’ the majority we receive turn out to be the final version of the advertisement. This was not the case with OfficeMax’s advertisement and to prevent visitor/buyer confusion, we are cooperating with this Cease & Desist and have removed the advertisement scan along with the item listings.”

Stay tuned.  More ads cannot be far behind.

(Photo: Reuters)


When are retailers going to understand that web activity promoting their sales shouldn’t be punished… instead they should be praised.


I live in ontario canada and cannot wait for the ads to come out


I don’t know what the secret is? why should people scramble to the last minute?


People always look for black Friday. because they got big discount and sale on different things. So advertise of black Friday sale and discount on various things is really necessary to attract people for shopping.


They just have it completely wrong! all these leeks are just helping them boost sales

I just don’t get their secret about it


The hottest Black Friday ad might be the one featured on They have posted the Amazon Black Friday link which shows Black Friday deals available online all week.


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see