Read the Fine Print of Footnotes

Contains OlestraI haven't spoken, much less thought about, Legalese in many years; however, a couple of bloggers had some interesting posts relating to fine print of footnotes found on financial institution statements. This got me thinking about Proctor & Gamble's marketing and legal challenges relating to products containing Olestra. At the time, P&G was required by the FDA to let consumers know about products containing Olestra: not in fine print but in plain, bold warning label.

Olestra-fortified food packages dating before 2000, including potato chips and other snacks, required a warning label: "This product contains Olestra, which may cause anal leakage." The original label has been updated, but the side-effect is still there. Don't kid yourself, think twice before popping another oh-so-good-Olestra chip in your mouth. Petroleum has been diverted to make Olestra, the main culprit for the recent skyrocketing of gas price worldwide.

So, this got me thinking about the twilight zone of disclosures, disclaimers, terms & conditions, end-user licenses and privacy statements found in the fine print of footnotes. As I am in marketing, I am always "negotiating" with lawyers on the balance of corporate responsibilities and public awareness. Makes my job more interesting, that's for sure.

Oddly, very few pharmacies and drug manufacturers had the "not responsible for death" disclaimer. Fine prints of interest ...
Maybe I should update my disclaimer to include: "Not responsible for death or injury resulting from reading this blog."

tags: ........
another point of view ...

Blogger HowBizarre

Death and anal leakage in the same paragraph...What's for dinner?

Really though...why would someone want to eat vasoline?

Blogger Kallun

You're too late, Nam. I just got a paper-cut on my finger, and I've already instructed my lawyers to initiate proceedings against you for the personal injury your blog has caused me to inflict upon myself...

Blogger Nam LaMore

howbizarre: dinner is coffee and an apple - that should be safe enough. i usually can't have chips because most of them contain MSG - i am sensitive to this 'flavor enhancer'. i found that out the hard way; mom thought it would be a good idea to liberally use 'accent' in her cooking. i can handle it in small doses, but i get migraine if there's too much. fortunately, there are some potato chips without olestra and msg. i know, i'm just a big baby.

Blogger Nam LaMore

kallun: as an avid 'judge judy' fan, i understand that i can counter-sue you for printing out my blog, thus injuring the whole ecosystem by the removal of trees. shall we settle out of court, then?

Blogger Lester T.

i can testify that reading this blog has left me motionless for extended periods of time and invoked tourette-like interjections occasionally. and i feel a breakdown coming just trying to think about how i'm going to sue Nam in real court, no wimpy judge judy courtroom! i've always wanted to sell out and go mainstream instead of appealing to the housewife demographic.

Blogger Nam LaMore

lester t: everything i know about the legal system i learned from judge judy, and she calls it like she sees it!

but, if i ever need a good celebrity lawyer, gloria alread is on the top of my list; she did good for mistress amber. mark geragos isn't batting great these days; scott peterson should know!

Blogger Lester T.

johnny cochrane would've been good but...

Blogger Nam LaMore

lester t: j.cochrane is GREAT, he got a killer off, remember? :-)

i would probably hold out for gloria, she always look good in a red suit - who doesn't want to stand next to her? but, i don't think she's a real lawyer anymore; she probably was at one point.

i think now, she just does interviews, and have her slaves .. i mean, interns and worker bees .. do all her analysis for her, then have the spin doctors deliver soundbytes to her before her media interview appearances. :-)

speak up!

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