HIGHTOWER: The Lies Packages Tell

Time for another trip [Far-out space music]. . . into the Far, Far, FAR-OUT Frontiers of Free Enterprise.Today's journey on spaceship Hightower is courtesy of Consumer Reports magazine, which takes us behind the claims manufacturers make on their packages. Like this Swiss Formula, natural aloe deoderant stick from St. Ives. The package declares, "NEW! 3.25 oz. Value Size." Yes, the container is bigger than the old one was, but the old one contained 3.5 ounces of stick. The new value size gives you more container, less deoderant. Hmmmmm. . . no thanks.How about this box of "Honey Nut O's" breakfast cereal -- no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, just good healthy stuff. Stuff like whole wheat flour, almonds and "Crystallized Evaporated Cane Juice." Say what? Just a fancy way of saying: Sugar.Now here's a deal you don't often get -- talking toy animals that come with "Batteries Included." Says so right here on the box, not once but in five different places. Alas, though, the batteries the company included are short-lived ones that the fine print says, and I quote, are "included for demonstration" only. To really get the animals talking, you have to buy your own batteries.Finally comes this vent-hood for a clothes dryer from TrueValue. The package declares that not only is installation simple, but [quote] "NO TOOLS NECESSARY." But get it home and find that the instructions call for you to, one, "cut a round hole" in your wall, two, "use aluminum nails" to fasten the hood in place, and three, "cut to required length." Hello, TrueValue. Are we to cut with our teeth, and hammer with our forehead . . . or might there actually be some "tools necessary"?This is Jim Hightower saying . . . Watch out . . . What the package says is not what you get.Source:"Selling It". Consumer Reports : March 1997.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close