Advertising Bloopers

In this week’s Newscripts column, C&EN intern David Pittman wrote about radioactive algicide supposedly sold by the firm Par Pool & Spa, in Connecticut. Newscripts reader James Francis of Houston wrote in to point out the erroneous ad (to see it click here), which claims that BioGuard Back Up Algicide contains 95% carbon-14. “Should be very effective,” Francis told Pittman. “And besides, you wouldn’t need to turn on the pool lights at night.” This ad reminded me of another that Newscripts has blogged about in the past. Florida Crystals advertises its natural sugar as being “carbon free.” Of course, the firm means that the sugar production process has a low carbon footprint, but it really should’ve had a chemist take a look at the packaging before running with it. But my favorite misleading ad out there these days is the one shops frequently hang outside their doors to tout “organic dry cleaning.” Often, you’ll see the words “environmentally friendly” somewhere on the sign as well, which usually induces me to heave a loud sigh. I find it sad that these places prey on the public’s current craze for all things natural and organic. Interestingly, there is a dry cleaning process in existence that uses liquid carbon dioxide and biodegradable soaps rather than the traditional organic chemicals. Seventh Generation has an article about it here. Has anyone else out there recently come across an ad similar to these?

Author: Lauren Wolf

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