Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    Lying Corporations

    I had intended to make this week's topics about unions, but I think I will toss in a dash of corporate lying and deception. This topic has nothing to do with unions or labor or wages, but with you and I - the consumer.

    For a few years (over 15 years ago) I worked in the marketing department of an international concern. I've also had a couple of marketing-related courses while attending a university, so I figure I'm aware of most of the trickery that takes place.

    Marketing products usually address a target audience. An easy example is a TV program that appeal to a older group - they get more drug commercials. A cartoon program will get the toy and sugar cereal commercials.

    Less obvious are marketing techniques that are very deceptive - and those are just plain wrong. A recent deception exposed is Kraft foods and their guacamole dip. You'd think this was an avocado dip, right? If you eat it know you are swallowing less than 2% avocado - over 98% is filler - crap! Kraft is currently being sued - as they should be.

    I'd like to see more than just an ingredient list - I'd want to see percentages as part of the labeling. I'd also want to know the country where a product was grown an where it was packaged - that would have an influence on my purchase.

    Then there are credit card companies - a very competitive business with lots of deception and fine print that no consumer takes the time to read. A heavily marketed card right now is the "Free Choice" card by Chase - a company to avoid! With their card you'd actually have more freedom without it!

    More deceptive practices are probably taking place as your market. If you are a meat eater you probably look for the reddest chunk of road kill you can find. HELLO? Dead animals are not pumping oxygen through the body, so it really doesn't have that fresh slaughtered look for long. Grocery chains often package their meat pumped with carbon monoxide thus prolonging that red look for months! Heck, that ground meat that looked so fresh might be months old!

    Caveat Emptor!

    No comments: