Thursday, 1 February 2018

Reading this post may make you blind

We've all made fun of Americans and their crazy law of torts. That's why you have such gems such as "Contents Hot" on a coffee cup or a "Remove baby before folding" sticker on a pram. In that same vein is the recent move in California that may soon have the warning "Coffee Causes Cancer" in coffee shops !  Granted that the land of the free scores somewhere mid tier in the international rankings of IQ, but still .....

A news item about P&G and Tide laundry pods however made me pause. P&G has released an ad featuring  Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots' star exhorting people not to eat Tide laundry pods ! WTF ? 


Apparently some teenagers have started a campaign called the 'Tide Pod Challenge". You are supposed to eat a Tide Pod and then post the video online. Reportedly some 40 cases of this nonsense have already happened in the first 15 days of 2018. It became serious enough for P&G to take note and issue the aforementioned ad exhorting people to wash clothes with their Tide laundry pod and not eat it. Without a doubt, their legal department opined that if they kept quiet, it was only a matter of time before they were slapped with a class action suit from a parent that the company was liable because they did nothing to prevent their children from eating the damned pod !

The purpose of this post is not to rail against the stupidity of on line antics. There is enough and more written on that. But where does personal responsibility end and where does company liability begin ? We seem to be living in a day and age where there is no personal responsibility whatsoever and its always someone else to blame. If its a rich juicy company, then great. Blame them and sue for a zillion dollars.  Is it the job of a company to monitor every nonsense that's happening on social media and guard against them ?

I am taking no chances. I am a poor man and will be bankrupted if you sue me ! Please therefore take note that reading this post on a screen may be injurious to your eyes. Please also note that if you are sipping coffee at the same time it might spill and burn your thighs as it is hot !!

8 comments:

Deepa said...

Haha! I heard that on my drive on the news on radio and they had a good 10 min long piece on it. My brain has turned soft coz of lack of sleep and audit related insanity and I was wondering if I was catching the words right. They were talking about how the packaging makes it look like a candy so there is child-proof packaging that prevents babies from opening it easily, but what are you going to do about teenagers. I was thinking, if there is a grown person who doesn't know he/she shouldn't be eating laundry detergent, its probably best that they eat it and die.

Ramesh said...

@Deepa - You would think that would be what any normal person would say. But then the tort law has grown so insane in the US that common sense is considered an optional luxury. If you have to warn a parent to remove the baby from the pram before folding it, then eating a laundry pod is a perfectly natural risk !!

Sriram Khé said...

Methinks that with this controversy, Tide has a branding problem now. Because, it is not as if other products do not come in those small pods. Yet, the discussions are always only about Tide's pods ;)

Ramesh said...

@Sriram - It simply reflects the fact that Tide is the most well known and popular pod and the only one worth talking about !

Rads said...

Simply put, "social media dementia"! People will do anything to become famous online and earn money and the more it borders on insanity the better.. companies like tide are just an easy target - kind of like wrong place wrong time because stupid parents just panic, need someone to blame, and tide happens to be around.
It reminds me of a story when I was a kid, sorry if I'm boring don't read on...
I used to sharpen my pencils with my dad's used up shaving blade (coz sharpeners were still expensive) and some of my younger cousins (who were too young to be holding anything sharp like a blade) apparently saw me doing it and tried copying...and one of them cut her fingers with the blade, in the process...and her mom blames me for starting the trend of sharpening pencil with blade..mind you i was no way near them when this happened and i had no idea they were watching me n trying to copy me either...but i just happened to be around and old enough to take the blame...so it's just overprotective, and irresponsible parents trying to put the blame on others in order to cover up their stupidity. And also she didn't know how to sue the razor blade company :D

Ramesh said...

@Rads - Yup. Anything for fame (notoriety ?)

Interesting anecdote. Same issue - lack of ownership and responsibility. Blame anybody else, even a kid. Yuk !

gils said...

!!!!??? ithukelam ad?? poisonukum solvangalo? drink at your own risk..kudicha sethuruva nu?

Ramesh said...

@Gils - Ha ha - that is the great land of America :)

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