July 24th, 2009 by Bob Bly
My friend DH, a retired copywriter, once said he would take on any product except those that are illegal, immoral, or fattening.
A new hamburger now being sold at the stadium of a minor-league baseball team — the West Michigan Whitecaps — surely falls into the third category … and maybe even the second.
The burger, which weighs 4 pounds and costs $20, contains 5 beef patties, 5 slices of American Cheese, extra nacho cheese, nearly a cup of chili, salsa, sour cream, and corn chips on an 8-inch bun. It has 4,800 calories — as many as 9 Big Macs.
Susan Levin, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), wrote a letter to the Whitecaps asking them to put a WARNING label on the burger stating that eating red meat increases risk of heart disease, and asked that they not sell the burger to minors.
While the burger is arguably both disgusting and unhealthy, lots of restaurants, fast food stands, and stores sell foods that are unhealthy and (to many people) disgusting.
But don’t consumers have the right to decide what they want to eat? I can go to any ball park, and if I want to pig out, buy half a dozen burgers or dogs at any snack window — and no one will question me.
Do you admire PCRM and Levin for their latest attempt to protect the public’s health?
Or shouldn’t the Whitecaps and their customers be free to buy and sell whatever foods they desire?
And: are there any particular product categories that you refuse to market because you don’t approve of them?
(For me, I once turned down a publisher who needed direct mail packages to sell books on hunting — not because I think hunting should be banned, but because I find it repugnant and do not want to encourage it in any way.)
Source: Good Medicine, Summer 2009, p. 13.
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