Usually when I complain about TV commercials, it’s because they’re assuming the viewer is stupid–or even portraying their target audience as stupid. Today, however, I’d like to point our a couple of commercials that are actively encouraging people to behave stupidly.
Let’s begin with that cornerstone of American dessert, Reddi Wip. (No, that’s not a typo. There really isn’t an “h” in the name.)
For those of you who didn’t watch the video, Mom packs a canister of Everyone’s Favorite Whipped Cream in young Charlie’s lunch. He, of course, is delighted. He skips the nutritious part of his lunch, takes one bite of his brownie, and then runs through the school, spraying whipped cream on randomly-selected teachers’ and students’ food.
Seems harmless enough, doesn’t it? If Charlie can brighten a few peoples’ day with a nitrous oxide-propelled mixture of cream, sugar, corn syrup, and maltodextrin, why shouldn’t he?
Well, according to USLegal.com, “enticement” is “to wrongfully solicit, persuade, procure, allure, attract, coax, or seduce, or to lure, induce, attempt, incite, or persuade a person to do a thing.”
Wondering why I’m talking about enticement? In case it had escaped your notice, we live in a society where “Cover Your Ass” is an increasingly-popular way to guide your actions.
Consider that in 2014, a student in California was reportedly given detention for sharing his lunch with a fellow student.
Last year, nine students in South Carolina were apparently suspended for violating the school’s drug policy. Their mixture of sugar and Kool-Aid looked too much like cocaine for the school’s administration.
Most states restrict the distribution of nitrous oxide to minors to prevent its use as a euphoric drug.
Need I say more about Reddi Wip’s responsibilities here?
But let us remember that none of this is poor Charlie’s fault. He’s just the product of his culture. Clearly, he attends the school shown in this commercial for Aleve.
Here a teacher’s arthritis flares up, much to the horror of her young charges, and even the class hamster. Another teacher comes to her rescue, handing her a bottle of Aleve. In the classroom, in front of the students. All is well, and teacher and students run merrily through their day, untroubled by arthritis or any consideration of school drug policies that prohibit sharing of medications, even in life-saving situations.
I’ll skip the citations of the cases where students were suspended for bringing aspirin to school–not taking it, just having it in their possession–as most of those seem to date to the nineties. Those restrictions are still on the books, of course, but if your kid has already been suspended for having candy, that bottle of Aleve in her backpack is largely irrelevant.
So, thanks to Aleve and Reddi Wip for setting such a bad example for America’s children and enticing them into lives of crime.