Consumers International today awarded its "Blindingly Obvious Danger Award" to the Kellogg's and Lego companies for creating a candy snack in the shape of Lego bricks. After writing about this risky mixed message earlier this year, we were pleased to see CI's announcement, which came as part of its annual Bad Company Awards.
In bestowing this dubious honor, Luke Upchurch, spokesman for Consumers International said, “Sometimes, even the biggest multi-million dollar companies with the most creative minds, need to just stop, take a deep breath, and ask themselves ‘Is this really a good idea?’ Fun Snacks was definitely one of those moments."
We agree, and as Don Mays wrote in July, "It’s not illegal to sell candy that looks like toys or vice versa, but it’s a really bad idea. ... Each year, about 15 children under the age of three choke to death on non-edibles."
Consumers International is a federation of consumer groups including Consumers Union. Also singled out for "ridiculous and irresponsible behaviour" this year were:
- Tesco—Sledgehammer Award for silencing criticism
"For its $34 million lawsuit against three Thai journalists critical of the British retailer’s expansion plans."
- Eli Lilly—The Marketing Overdose Award for rampant promotion
"For repeatedly breaching marketing regulations with its blockbuster drug for erectile dysfunction."
- Samsung—Nice Little Sideline Award for selling tanks, not just TVs
"For the little-publicized fact that this consumer electronics company also builds artillery systems."
- Toyota—Green-scrubbing Award for environmental impact
"They may make the Prius, but Toyota picks up an award for audacious greenwashing and some rather contradictory marketing exercises."