HIGHTOWER: Ads on Apples?
Time for another voyage into the Far, Far, FAR-OUT Frontiers of Free Enterprise.Today, Spaceship Hightower visits the Brave New World of ... your refrigerator? Yes, specifically the fruit & veggie bin. It used to be that our oranges, carrots and whatnot just set there quietly in our fridge. No more, though. Now, various pieces of produce are likely to have a little sticker on them, proclaiming a brand name.These logo stickers got Brian Fox, an advertising executive, envisioning everything from A to Z -- apples to zucchini -- in an entirely different light: not as edibles, but as ad space. According to the "Wall Street Journal", Fox conceived a new business, called the Fruit Label Company, which is now selling sticker-space on fruits and vegetables. "We are talking millions and millions of mini-billboards," Fox gushes.His first customer is Universal Pictures, which currently is promoting the video release of the movie "Liar, Liar," starring comedian Jim Carey. Sure enough, Carey's mug is showing-up this month on promotional stickers applied to 12 million Granny Smith and Fuji apples. Mr. Fox claims that his fruit stickers are better than television ads, which viewers can tune-out with their handy remote control. But a sticker, he says, "is interactive because you have to peel it off."Of course, what he calls "interactive," you and I might call "irritating." I, for one, don't care to reach into my fruit bin in the morning and find Jim Carey shouting at me from a Granny Smith. I like my fruit to be ... well, fruit, not an ad.Still, Fox, is envisioning Campbell Soup ads on tomatoes, Halloween pitches on pumpkins and ... well, there's just no limit. "We can do anything," Fox exults!This is Jim Hightower saying ... Sad, but true.Source: "Commercial appeal: Jim Carey is coming to a fruit bin near you" by Lisa Bannon. "Wall Street Journal": August 21, 1997.