Commercially repulsive QUESTION

I loathed these commercials so much that I have, years later, never purchased a package of Wisk.

I’ve refused to buy a number of products over the years for various reasons: political/economic boycotts for iceberg lettuce, orange juice, and the like.

But there have also been commercials out there that have just offended my sensibilities.

One was for a drink mix from Pillsbury called Funny Face, targeted to compete with Kool-Aid. Not only did the character on this particular envelope look like a caricature, if memory serves, he also sounded like one. It’s no surprise that the product was replaced by a more generic Choo Choo Cherry a couple years later.

But no long-running commercial bugged me more than those for Wisk laundry detergent and its irritating “Ring Around the Collar”. Often featuring a woman looking frustrated and shamed when her husband, a friend, or even a total stranger noticed that the husband’s shirt collar was less than pristine. Here are some examples here and here, plus you can find plenty more on the Internet; this later ad was less bad, but by then it was too late. I loathed these commercials so much that I have, years later, never purchased a package of Wisk.

(Company policies generally can cut both ways. On one hand, a potential boycott against Butterball turkeys, because they are halal, might make me MORE likely to buy them. On the other, Butterball being sued by EEOC for harassment and the firing of an HIV+ employee, not so much.

What commercials, or company policies, backfired with you, making you LESS likely to purchase the product?

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

7 thoughts on “Commercially repulsive QUESTION”

  1. Avon cosmetics – they tested them on animals. When I was asked to purchase some I told the lady this – so she suggested I bought something other than cosmetics! I sighed really, poor woman – obviously not a master minded intelligent being! lol!

  2. In the last year or two there have been several – I believe, MasterCard – commercials of streams of people in eateries or malls making purchases like automatons, swiping their credit cards, until suddenly the treadmill of commercialism is halted by some clown daring to try to make a purchase with CASH! Oh the horror!

  3. There was a commercial for Geritol that went, “My wife, I think I’ll keep her!” A stupid, sexist and insulting Ad. She should have dumped the bum for saying that. I will never buy Geritol!

  4. I’ve been annoyed by commercials, too, but there was only one that made me actively avoid the product (a margarine containing plant sterols that used a breathless elderly man, apparently immediately post-coital, to sell the product). However, I’ve sometimes chosen against giving my business to bad people. More often, though, I’ll “buycott”, that is, I’ll go out of my way to support the better company or its products, even when they’re more expensive or harder to get.

  5. There is not enough room, but thanks for bringing this up, Roger. I remember ‘Chinese Cherry,’ Roger, and we didn’t buy it. Whole family was all about social justice. Boycotted Kraft for years because they were owned by Philip Morris. Our signs said “Kraft = Philip Morris.” Then they tried to rename the food part of the conglomerate “Altria,” so our signs read, “Altra = Kraft… STILL Philip Morris!” Amy

  6. I’ll give you a couple of good examples. Check out the latest big bank or oil and gas commercials. Nothing like trying to put lip stick on a pig there. Big banks trying to say how they are lending to communities that they’ve recently destroyed. Gas companies saying how safe and clean their fracking methods are. A little background there for you folks. The big gas companies sub contract the work to smaller companies that could care less about the environment. I believe the term is plausible deniability.

  7. I pay so little attention to advertising these days that it’s hard for me to think of a product whose commercials irritate me to the point of not purchasing the product on that basis. I will say, however, that I’m really tired of the entire genre of “doofus husband” or “doofus dad” commercials that depict fathers or husbands as blithering idiots who completely mess everything up before their thankfully-intelligent wives show up to save the day with the product the commercial is hawking. It’s just an irritating trend.

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