We received eighty-three entries last month correctly identifying the Fake Ad for the Washtenaw County Coalition for Local Business on page 68 of the June Observer. The ad was, of course, made up, but the idea of what would happen to the local economy if people stopped shopping online was one many Fake Adders found thought provoking.

“The ad on page 68 regarding an online shopping free zone is not only not far-fetched, it is an admirable idea which the Observer should champion,” wrote Marc Joseph. “One of your writers should compile the facts about the true costs of shopping online versus shopping locally. Include food too. The People’s Food Coop has some good resources. The local banks are hyping it.” Joseph went on to write–kidding, we think–that if he wins, he’d like his prize to be an Amazon gift card.

Siri Gottlieb had a different perspective. “What gloomy Luddite came up with this one? Too late to turn back the clock: our finest indie book and record stores are long gone, thanks to Internet shopping. Savvy local merchants have an online presence–shop them there!”

Tom Tyson was chosen as our winner. “Years ago I decided where I would take the prize if I won,” Tyson wrote, “and after a reality check against this issue’s Advertiser Index, it hasn’t changed: The Earle.”

To enter this month’s contest, find the phony in the June Ann Arbor Observer and follow the instructions on the “Back Page.” The Fake Ad always includes the word “arborweb.”