In late 2023, misleading advertisements were shown to Facebook and Instagram users that claimed a number of popular restaurant chains were closing all of their locations. Wendy's, Olive Garden, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store were among the chains targeted by these advertisements. All of the advertisements were false clickbait.
The ads came from an article on the Investing.com website titled, "Last Call: These Chain Stores Are Closing Locations in 2023." In each instance, the article did not reveal that the restaurant chain in question would be closing down.
These kinds of ads and articles exist usually because of advertising arbitrage. Advertising arbitrage is a strategy where an advertiser hopes to make more money on ads displayed in a lengthy article than it would cost to display a clickbait ad.
Below, you can find articles we've written so far about these clickbait restaurant-closure advertisements. We'll update this collection if we report further on other such ads.