business

When Smart Choices for Businesses Mean Bad Choices for Consumers

I realize with everything going on here in Oblivion lately I’ve not been following a lot of news. In fact I’ll be perfectly honest and tell you if it hasn’t come across my Google reader or my Twitter stream, I probably don’t know about it. All the biggest news hits those places first, so maybe by being behind I’m actually staying ahead of the game?

Either way I was catching up on my Twitter feed when Fiona posted about a New York Times piece describing the new campaign by a program called “Smart Choices”. Smart Choices describes their goal as “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”  They work with the food and beverage industry and award green checkmark labels to foods that meet certain standards based on federal dietary guidelines.

Sounds pretty innocuous, right?

It would be, right up until you see the actual food lists.

Froot Loops is a ‘Smart Choice’.

Cocoa Puffs are a ‘Smart Choice’.

Pretty much all of the Kid Cuisine frozen meals are a ‘Smart Choice’.

Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise (not the low-fat stuff, the real kind) is a ‘Smart Choice’.

I’m sorry, but..what the fuck planet are these people living on again?

Quite simply, the planet with the money.

A short perusal of their website turns up the fact that half of their Board of Directors are executives for major food and beverage companies, such as Kelloggs and Kraft. Since when does turning out junk food make them qualified to judge the merits of healthy foods?

And while the programs is advertised as non-profit, the companies pay a percentage of sales of those products bearing the logo to the Smart Choices program, up to $100,000 per year. With 10 of the largest companies signed up so far, including Kelloggs, Pepsico, and Unilever, you have to wonder where that first million dollars is going to go.

The money issue aside, I truly wonder about the ethics of the ‘doctors’ endorsing this program. Dr. Eileen Kennedy was quoted in the article as explaining that between a donut and Froot Loops, Froot Loops is the better choice because it has artificially added  vitamins, she fails to explain the logic behind promoting ‘better’ junk food as opposed to actual healthy foods. A banana is both cheaper and healthier than cereal that contains 44% sugar (no, that’s not a typo), so why are they not after promoting things like fruits (as opposed to ‘froots’) and vegetables?

The ‘it’s better than…’ logic just doesn’t work for me. I mean for all that, giving your kids candy for breakfast is better than giving them rat poison, but I don’t consider either of them a viable breakfast option. Giving your kids whiskey is certainly better than giving them bleach, but are either something that you’d consider pouring into their juice cups?

It’s sad to me that by using this ‘it’s better than’ shtick the people behind this program are clearly preying on the poor and uneducated, trying to make them feel like they’ve made a smarter choice, when in reality all this program is doing is lining some already-fat pockets at the expense of our children’s health.

Coca-Cola PR…FAIL!

I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Coke’s ‘My Coke Rewards’ program. Different Coke products had codes on them worth 3 points, 10 points or 20 points, depending on the size of the pack or bottle. You could then redeem these codes for things like Blockbuster rentals, magazines subscriptions, stuff like that. I myself collected them for like 2 years, and have literally a shoebox FULL of Coke 12-pack flaps with codes on them. You could only enter 10 codes per day, so at 100 points a day they capped you at 700 points a week. (This is important.) Given the number of flaps I have, the daily cap was annoying, but whatever.

Today I get this in my email-

cokebullshit1

Note the cheerful announcement of the ‘Great news’, how they’ve made ‘big improvements’, and how starting February 16th you can enter as many codes as you want per day! Up to 120 points per week! Smiling model! Hey America, we’ve done this for YOUR convenience!

Wait. Back the fuck up.

10 points per flap..times 10 codes per day = 100 points per day.

Now..120 points per week. How dumb do they really think we are?

That smiling model up there? That’s the face of Coca-Cola laughing and pointing as they say bend over, and we aren’t using lube on this job.

Great. big. giant. PR. FAIL.

New Moon Girls Saga Continues, Now With True Suckage

When I wrote my post the other day about New Moon Girls, I figured that was pretty much the end of it. The attitude of bloggers as slaves who should be happy to work for nothing is not a new concept in the blogosphere, and this in my mind was just yet another example. Vent my vent, and move on.

The discussion has continued, not without disagreements, but a really good discussion never is. Differences are what make the world go round, and all that jazz. I’m a big girl, and my opinions are my own, take them or leave them.

Then I got this particular comment-

Author : Marta (IP: 66.162.147.102 , mail.monvia.com)
E-mail : mta@gmail.com
URL    :
Whois  : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=66.162.147.102
Comment:
I only saw this blog because I recently heard about New Moon Girls and I am researching them.  Everything that I have seen so far is really good.  Nancy, the founder, has been tirelessly publishing this magazine for years and I think it is a great service for girls.  I also greatly respect the work of bloggers like yourself and I agree you should get compensated for your work.  But getting paid to review would actually make you biased wouldn’t it?  Why didn’t you take their offer to become an affiliate?

I think it was the obvious clashing of the terms “I recently heard about” and “has been tirelessly publishing this magazine for years” that got me curious. Tirelessly? To describe someone you pretty much know nothing about? I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

Sure enough, mail.monvia.com is the mail server for http://www.monvia.com.

Oddly enough the same Monvia.com that lists New Moon Girls as one of their companies here- http://www.monvia.com/ourcompanies.html

I’m sure the Nancy that contacted me is a truly nice person. I never criticized the company itself, just the attitude she obviously has towards the worth of the people she is out asking favors from.

I truly cannot stand people who leave comments anonymously. Even worse, I cannot stand people who lie about who they are and why they hold the opinion that they do. To have my integrity questioned to myself and my readers, from someone who flat out lies about who they are and why they are here is about as shitty as it gets.

My final opinion on this one?

You_Suck

New Moon Girls and their partner in crime Monvia officially sucks ass for their crappy, deceptive attitudes and business practices.