I personally applaud Nike for decades of perfecting the art of creating a persona of performance, elitism and status with it’s products. McDonald’s for creating a sense of value with its former super-sized value meals. Tobacco’s image of rebellious cool sophistication. These companies have perfected the art of successful branding. Consumers’s pursuit of these brands have also lead to robbery, obesity and death.
Although McDonald’s has discontinued it’s super-sized value meals and has required each location to post its nutritional facts, obesity is still a leading cause of health issues in the US. Tobacco companies have been court ordered to label their products literally saying it will cause cancer if used long term, but still 440,000 people die of tobacco related illnesses.
With that said, what bothers me more is lawsuits against these companies, blaming them for people’s own personal choices. The man claiming McDonald’s made him fat or recent lawsuits against tobacco companies because of health issues caused by smoking. Even with information as clear as a surgeon general’s warning, a nutrition label that declares one sandwich has 1/3 the caloric intake for an entire day or a price tag out out of your price range people will do what they want to feel like they are getting a value, being cool or have a sense of status.
Consumers’ compulsions are not the fault of these brands. If its not common knowledge, companies have done a lot to protect themselves from further lawsuits through proper labeling and following government guidelines. Its time for consumers to take personal responsibility for their actions.