Consumer Report: Fast food fake outs

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Fast-food advertising makes the offerings looking luscious and inviting, but what we're served is often a different story.

The fast food burgers you get can look a whole lot different from reality. Consumer Reports has gotten so many complaints, it sent in its secret shoppers. They sent a photo studio in a van to seven fast-food chains, several outlets of each. They photographed a variety of menu items to compare what you see with what you're served.
Quiznos sandwich ads are a work of art.

"Everything looks beautiful. But in reality, this is how the sub appeared when we bought it," Tod Marks of Consumer Reports said.

Although sometimes the food came close to the ads, the results for the most part were disappointing. The worst offender in Consumer Reports' small sample? Subway sandwiches. Its popular "Italian BMT" came to the van looking quite different.

But according to Subway, foods portrayed in its ads, quote "are made to the exact specifications as those found at our 26,000 restaurants."
So why the big difference between ads and reality?Judi Orlick is a professional food stylist whose job it is to create food fantasies.

"When you're taking that photograph, we want to highlight and feature all of the elements in that sandwich. So what we're doing is we are building that to play up to the camera, and appeal to your senses. And to make your eyes hungry," food stylist, Judi Orlick said.

For food that is as pretty as it's pictured, maybe it's best to eat with your eyes closed. The Federal Trade Commission, which regulates advertising, says it hasn't pursued any cases regarding deceptive photos of food. An FTC spokesperson says actions are unlikely in cases of inexpensive products that consumers can easily evaluate.