I try to eat healthy but it seems the best things in life are not free and are more for the wealthy. So, you can imagine my chagrin when a poor chap like me buys expensive things and get substitutes. Buying leather and getting leatherette or faux. Buying Juice and getting drinks. It is akin to passing off a harlot as a lady.
Here is what happened. I went into a reputable supermarket in Upper St. Andrew, Jamaica. I bought a bottle of 100% juice made by a reputable juice company. Needless to mention, the brand also had a reputation for high price. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I was sold mixed drinks as 100% juice. Are you surprised that I was surprised? Don’t laugh. Chances are you got shafted too.
Fooling some people sometimesBy the way, did I tell you which brand product it was that I bought in a reputable supermarket in a reputable area in upper St. Andrew Jamaica and also in Walmart and in Publix in USA. It is Mott’s: 100% Apple Juice.
Seriously now, who does that? It is more like, who doesn’t do that. A growing number of food and drink companies are labeling their products “all natural” or "100% juice" to attract health-concerned customers in order to improve their bottom line and get in the black. Do you feel deceived though?
Let me quickly share a legal packaging requirement with you: Ingredients for a product should be listed in descending order with the ingredient that is the most, in terms of volume, weight and size, being listed first. Simply put, put the most first. If water is listed first it means that water is the majority of the content. In a bottle of a 100% apple juice, the only ingredient to be listed is apple juice.
Let’s look at it this way: if Mott's pour 100% apple juice in the bottle to say a ¼ full and then pour in water for the other ¾, it would not have lied. The bottle does contain 100% juice, albeit, the entire content of the bottle is not 100% juice. This should cover all legal requirements? Right? Tricks in trade and mischievous in business. Figures don't lie but liars can figure. Sigh. False or misleading? Well. Hmmm.
Of course, there are some Mott’s drinks that are more juice than some but none is 100% juice. As mentioned, many other drinks company are also passing off mixed drinks as Juices. See photo.
Guilty as charged.Here is the facts of the “real news”. In 2011, Naked Juice was forced to retract their claim that their Naked juice was "100% fruit" and "all natural." The juice company was actually including ascorbic acid (vitamin c) and synthetic sources of fiber in its beverages — proving that "all natural" and #100% juice can be fairly meaningless buzzwords. The complaint points out that the “front-of-package promises that the product is ‘ALL NATURAL’ and ‘100% JUICE.’ (Sounds familiar?)
It was held by the Court that a reasonable consumer would not assume that defendants were being deceptive and would not know to read the very-fine-print ingredient label.
Facing the musicAs Albert Einstein once said, The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
I must agree, there have been changes in the ways that businesses operate today and we are and should be thankful for the Fair Trade Commissions and other legislation. However, it is hard to accept a bottle of ¼ juice and ¾ water being sold as a bottle of 100% juice.
If Pepsi was forced to change their labels and advertising for their Naked Juice, this precedent could and should be applied to other companies that are passing off mixed drinks as 100% juice. Just change the label.... and the price.
You know what they also taught in college. The customer is king and is always right. Fortunately, I was going through my recurring moments of truancy and had missed class that day so I didn’t learned it. I am glad I didn’t. Which King? Consumers are vagabonds.
If consumers are vagabonds, what are big businesses that exploit vagabonds? There is no winner.
CONCLUSIONAs you have seen, reputable organizations do tell "lies" and call it advertisement and marketing. That prompted this blong as I am very uncomfortable of big business or people taking advantage of the poor and meek, because I am poor. I also detest the idea of so call advertisers making false or misleading claims and calling it marketing as I am a chartered marketer.
In fact, marketers are sworn to a strict code of ethics that prohibit them from lying and making false claims. We embrace the values of Honesty, Integrity and Trust (HIT). We become substandard and unworthy to be called marketers if we do deceptive practices.
For the fun of it, put the first letter in substandard (S) in front of the elements of good value (HIT) and you will find out the messy position you can be in if you lie.
It is true that figures don't lie but liars can figure and it is easy to deceive but there is no real winner. Indeed, in 1983, I had a book of my poems published titled "VIEW" and one of the poems in it is called SOUL FREE. One verse goes like this:
If 6 was the same as 9, we would not need to choose. You may trick me and win, when you trick love you lose.
You may read the full poem in my blog called " Slices of Love": Simply click "Slices of love".
Clifton "NOTCLIF" Neil is a "blonger" (blogs long), chartered marketer and university lecturer in marketing. Contact at email@example.com.