Bait (or bait-and-switch) advertising is an alluring but deceptive and insincere offer whereby the advertiser does not intend to sell the advertised product or service at the unusually low advertised price.
The intention is to increase traffic, then switch the customer to a higher priced item when the customer comes to the store. This is often accomplished by inducing customers to buy higher priced models by disparaging the less-expensive product.
This practice is illegal if customers find it difficult or impossible to buy the advertised item.
- ^ American Marketing Association, AMA Dictionary.