Monday, April 09, 2007


I eat sugar. I love sugar. I'm okay with the fact that sugar has calories. I eat sugar in moderation (except, sometimes, when I don't - but I try to moderate the number of times that happens). I'm not looking for a free lunch. Or even a free dessert. I'm not trying to have my cake and eat it too.

However, it seems (at least from what we see in the Splenda v. Equal battle) that there are a number of people who believe that they can eat calorie-less sugar (something that doesn't exist). And Equal is saying (from what I can tell), that these people are victims. Equal is saying that people who interpret "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar" to mean that it is sugar have been willfully misled. When I say my spaghetti sauce is made from tomatos, my friends don't assume that they'll get a big round red tomato on top of their pasta. They assume they'll get a sauce that has tomatos as one of the (potentially almost infinite number of) ingredients. That's what the words "Made from" mean.

I would say rather that they've been artfully advertised to (granted, it's a somewhat fine line - but these are the same people who tell their kids not to believe everything they see on television). People are looking for the easy way out; advertising (for these folks) is about helping them feel like they've found it. If you're looking for a magic shortcut, you need to take some responsibility for the fact that you might not get exactly what you want (as an example, the magic beans put Jack face to face (sort of) with a giant (not exactly what he had envisioned) - that's why I tend to stick to the more tried and true).

What you think you're getting is often (always?) colored by what you hope (or fear) you're getting. But it's not anyone's responsibility to protect people from their wishful assumptions (other than maybe a good friend, but certainly not the government). People need to take responsibility for their choices - right down to the yellow, the blue or the white little packet.

And, of course, the only reason it's at trial is that Equal is mad that their tag-line wasn't as good. Rather than lawyers, they should have spent their money on a different ad firm.



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