Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Not so 'grrrrrrt' marketing

I have to credit Kerri at Six Until Me for this one. Directly. But it's worth re-posting. Here's her blog.

Tony the Tiger has died. A result of diabetic complications.
Apparently, some may think this is clever marketing. Wrong. These marketing folk need to be fired.

First, there's this story about Santa Clause being diagnosed with Type 2. A quote that ran has the red-suit clad Clause saying: "I want to beat my diabetes and get my weight under control without popping pills," Santa said. "And it's just too risky to take insulin injections when my reindeer tote my sleigh across the sky."
"Besides, if I become dependent on drugs and insulin injections, what message does that send to all the children?"

Wow. That's just a wonderful, wonderful message to send out to kids facing this disease. No, I'm not even talking about the children facing Type 1, where insulin is a must-have to even live.

Secondly, we have this story about Tony the Tiger dying from diabetic complications. Another wonder-marketing idea for the kids.

Any sense of reality and common sense apparently faded when parents threatened to sue Tony and Kellog over the tiger's Frosted Flakes consumption, since it somehow attributed to their child's obesity and subsequent laziness and bad health later in life. No wonder - these are probably the same parents griping that their kids scraped knees at recess, or got hit with the ball during dodgeball because they were too lazy to - you know - DODGE the rubber ball flying at them. These parents come from the same ilk that have gotten tag banned at schoolyards, and didn't want their children held accountable for a no-no by being made to stand against the wall while others played.

No, they have to gripe and whine. These are also the same people who, years back, used to say to Type I children: "You wouldn't be diabetic if you're parents had fed you better and your diet was healthier."
Get a clue. Please. Or just don't open your mouths. As if it's anyone's fault, a child's or a parent's, that a pancreas chooses to shut down and insulin-making cells just stop making insulin. The guilt and shame just add a whole new wonderful dimension to childhood.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A MySpace world

We're living in a MySpace world. But sadly, the legal world hasn't kept pace with the online social networking issues. We see in two current news tidbits.

Think about it. Someone creates a fake profile, sends mean messages to your son or daughter, and causes the child to get very upset, depressed, possibly even suicidal. We see that in a news item from Missouri, where 13-year old Megan Meier hanged herself last year minutes after she received mean messages through MySpace. It seems this all came from a fellow teen's dissolved friendship, and apparently adults played a part in this whole ordeal. CNN reported in mid-November that Megan's parents hope the people who made the fraudulent profile on the social networking web site will be prosecuted, and they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the Internet.

Today, the prosecutor there says no criminal charges would be filed because no applicable statute exists to file charges in this case. Laws relating to stalking, harassment, and child endangerment don't apply, and there was no threats to the child's life and no organized conspiracy.

Secondly example: We have the Indiana Supreme Court considering a case this month delving into whether MySpace comments are considered protected free speech under the First Amendment. This one involves a student's obscenity-filled posting that blasted a school principal. The juvenile commented about school policy on body piercings on a page created by another student. Here's a story.

Both of these show how ill-prepared our laws are to deal with Internet sites such as this. With this online hangouts having upwards of 100 million users and Facebook having millions on its own, we aren't ready for the legal issues of these online powerhouses. It could be scary stuff. Will be interesting to watch the court cases on these Internet law issues, and how the law plays catchup. Wonder where we'll be when it finally happens.

Candidate Huckabee on the... (Mortgage Industry)

If I were to vote for a Republican, which would be a far cry from possible to begin with, my support wouldn't be for Mike Huckabee. Ironically, it wouldn't have anything to do with religion. It's the mortgage issue.

Now, he says in response to a question about how we can help solve this mortage/foreclosure situation - solution isn't to "bail out" anyone. I agree. That shouldn't be. But he says "the market will correct itself." So, therefore we don't need any more regulation. Top that point with not helping "bail anyone out," and his suggestion to support President Bush's move to prolong terms so people can pay their own mortgages by refinancing. He tries to push this whole thing off on the idea that "people who go through painless foreclosures weren't smart about their decisions and it's not anyone else's fault." You know - give the guy without a job more time to not have the money to pay off his mortgage. It's the welfare argument - "you, responsible, mortgage-paying homeowner shouldn't have to pay for your own house and the one owned by the guy down the street who bought a too big house and couldn't afford it.

"Are you kidding? We need to make lenders educate homebuyers and at least do an honest job in selling mortgages and helping buyers understand the full real-world picture of taxes and what they can afford. Unfortunately, it's our job to do this. But most don't. And the lenders and builders have the flexibility to exploit that for more money in their own pockets. That's where the government must come in. Regulate this industry, so that if they deviate they get hit where it hurts - in the pocketbook. Educating homebuyers is a good thing all around, for communities, the economy, the builders and lenders who need future business.Huckabee, I feel you're off on this one. Can't say anything else about your campaign or views, but this one is just offbase. Maybe he doesn't understand the issue, and is only addressing the broad, overview question of "bailing out." Regardless, the response just makes me uneasy, and just doesn't cut it. Not close. Sorry, bud. You lose in my book on this one.