This CVS receipt is for three items. It is 33 inches long.
This CVS receipt is for three items. It is 33 inches long. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

The next time you're in a CVS pharmacy and drug store, and you're buying a pack of gum, you might want to think twice when the clerk asks you if you want your receipt.

"You have this moment when you're standing at the counter where you're sort of like, 'Is it really this long?'," says Katie Manderfield, a contributor to Fast Company and senior editor at Group SJR that tracks digital trends. "And I think that's the moment that a lot of consumers have been documenting and capturing and uploading onto Twitter and Facebook."

If you haven't been to a CVS lately, you might not know how long these receipts can go. But the Internet has noticed and it's become a meme.

"My colleague Matt Mirandi actually just noticed that this meme was happening and that people were sort of hilariously documenting these really really long receipts," Manderfield says."And then of course once we found the requisite parody account, which is CVS_Receipt, we knew it was bound to become something big."

But, can CVS turn that free press mocking them into dollars at stores?

"We wanted to use it as a case study to see what was happening with this trend, and to see how CVS could really leverage the laughs," says Manderfield. "Especially with these sort of memes that happen organically, it's not necessarily something CVS would choose under their own volition ... but the good news at the end of the day is that people are talking about CVS."

But, the Internet has weighed in and those receipts still are pretty long. "They'll hold their receipt up to a 7-year-old or next to their huge german shepherd dog ... it's a little ridiculous."

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal