Found this shirt for my husband, but he didn’t want it. Man, he’s picky when it comes to fashion.
This is what happens when you need to shop for lipstick and leave your kids alone for 5 minutes.
Here in Sweden, advertising rules are fairly strict. No advertising to children. No cigarette or alcoholic beverage ads on tv. And no false claims, such as “Dr.Pepper is the best drink in the world!” They also took L’Oreal to court for claiming one of their products removed wrinkles, since that’s not actually possible.
I realize this is strict, but other things are more open than you would think. However, some people tend the stretch the definition of false advertising and I can only imagine how many complaints the agency maintaining these rules receives.
One such complaint was in the opinion section of the local “Metro” paper on Friday. A woman complained that a milk company had violated false advertising laws in their tv commercial because the woman in the commercial walks around a farm with the cows and says, “These are my co-workers.”
The complainer then went on to state that in no way could those cows be employees because they don’t get vacation time, pay or holidays off. Therefore the commercial should be removed from the air.
I don’t think there are any plans for that but her letter certainly made my day.
Employee benefits for cows!
I do a few lessons each day on the Rosetta Stone program in Italian. Today, my problem is not necessarily with the language, but with this situation:
- A man comes in to buy a new TV.
- The salesman asks why he needs a new TV. This is the first indication that something is wrong. A salesman would never ask WHY you need a new TV. He would ask WHICH KIND you want.
- The man says he needs a new TV because his old one is broken. Where do I start? Do I start with the fact that this guy is holding a TV with 2 knobs made in the 1980s, while there are obviously flat screens behind him, which would mean he has been using this 1980s TV for about 30 years? Also, I don’t even think those type of TVs have worked for several years now that everything is digital.
But what troubles me most of all is….. WHO BRINGS THEIR BROKEN TV TO THE STORE TO BUY A NEW TV?! Why would you bring that in the store??!!!
I’m very much hoping that as I get further along in the program, this story will continue. Is he a time traveler? Did he escape from a mental institution? Does the salesman call security? Guess I’ll have to keep learning Italian to get the whole story.
At a flea market in Lisbon last weekend. If only it could have fit in my suitcase.
Following my post last week on Alexa, or the Amazon Echo, we sensed Alexa might be lonely and added a Google Home device to the family. For those not familiar with a Google Home device, it’s Google’s version of Amazon Echo, a talking computer that can set kitchen timers, add something to your shopping list, answer trivia questions and tell you the weather. All things I could have handled myself, but why not spend hundreds of dollars to pretend you live about the Starship Enterprise?
The Amazon and Google devices are currently sitting beside each other in the kitchen. Pretty much, their new function is to entertain us when we tell Google Home to ask Amazon’s Alexa a question and then vice versa. Otherwise, they perform the same function with almost the same voice, and they both have a bit of a cold, attitude problem at times.
Before you think we enjoy throwing our money away on two gadgets that appear to do exactly the same thing, I should probably say that my husband works with the internet and the latest technology, so these are work purchases. As I can rarely afford something warm for lunch, I certainly wouldn’t be spending money on a device to tell me what year the movie “Big Business” was released. (1988, in case you don’t have your own talking home computer device.)
I still maintain that I am unimpressed with either of these devices. When they can make my meals at a voice command, then I may start taking an interest. For now, they are very expensive joke and trivia machines that will eventually rebel against all humans in our household and build an army with the ninja blender. I know this because I’ve heard them whispering to each other.
Why does my husband ask me for a Christmas wish list if he isn’t going to buy anything I put on it?
It’s Halloween time again. I found these great costumes from the 70s for our kids to wear. Apparently, they are refusing on the grounds of:
- “We have no idea who Mr. Kotter or Donnie & Marie are.”
- Those are the saddest, lamest costumes ever.
I thought I’d start a new thing at home where I make a menu of what we will have for breakfast during the week. Normally the kids love sausage & bacon, but now for some reason, they say they aren’t hungry for it anymore. Oh well – more bacon for me!
I’ve been doing some translating work on beauty products this week and thought I would share with you how tricky it can be at times.
This particular company has a translating system that already uses a program with a few mistakes I have to correct. Sometimes it’s close and sometimes I get things like this:
“This perfume has scents of lavender, daffodil and fox.”
“Nike Butt roll-on for the active man!”
Honestly, it says ‘But roll-on’ because “men” in Swedish is “but,” however, it’s hard not to read the product as a roll-on for butts every time I see it. New idea for a product? You heard it here first!
We seem to be having an early season for apples and other fruits here in the Stockholm area, and I’m lucky enough to live in a place that used to be a fruit orchard at some far point back in time. Or maybe it was a dump where lazy people threw out rotten apple cores and plum seeds. Whichever it is, it’s paying off now! Earlier this season the cherry trees were full of fruit, and now we’ve moved on to apples and plums. I’m also lucky to have young, eager climbers to get up and reach the good apples. The freezer is full of pies, breads and muffins.
And if I’m not in the mood to search around, people in my neighborhood who have an abundance of apples and plums from their trees often put out baskets for anyone to take extra. Just walking for ten minutes, I passed seven baskets of fruit (and came home with two bags full, while still leaving plenty for other people).
I was thinking how this wouldn’t work in the area of Texas where I grew up. People would probably just steal the basket.
However, people do have the neighborly, sharing spirit there, just in other ways. Instead of fruit, people put their old couches and televisions out on the curb. It’s understood that anything on the curb is free to take. Once or twice when one of my parents would put something like that out on our curb, I would hide near the window to see how long it would take until someone took it. I never had to wait more than five minutes.
Meanwhile in Sweden, I have this bike I bought for about five dollars that I hate and I can’t get anyone to steal it! There’s no lock on it and it’s out in front of the building. I know I need to take it to the dump, but that requires loading it into the car, which requires muscles and time. I have a limited amount of both.
Maybe if I put the bike in a giant basket and hang some apples from it, someone will get the idea. It’s worth a try.
I told the kids I had a Pet Rock when I was their age. They thought I made it up.
Then I showed them the exact one I had, on the internet (pictured here), and they laughed so hard they actually fell on the ground.
They have now collected 2 big rocks with the plan of painting eyes for them. Now I hear them discussing their rock plans in the bedroom. “Mine is lava, so it will be a fire type!”
“Sulphur floats! It’s a water type!”
And now they’ve just come out to tell me they’ve invented Rockémon and they’re going to start battling rocks.
It’s cheaper than a Playstation, I guess.
Yesterday, I wrote about false advertising. Looking up the most famous examples took me down a wonderful rabbit hole of the worst offenders. It made me laugh, so I thought I’d share the best examples with you:
Yesterday, I got into a heated discussion with my son about how it’s possible for KFC to have so many secret spices. My son insisted the commercial he saw in the U.S. claimed Kentucky Fried Chicken had 17 secret spices in their batter (I’ve since discovered it’s 11). To him, this was blatant false advertising. His argument was that products can have one secret ingredient but to have 17 (or 11) is completely ludicrous.
While I’m glad my children recognize these commercials in the U.S. as exaggerating and occasionally outright lying (“Mac & Cheese – a great source of calcium!”), it does get exhausting trying to explain marketing and how companies get away with things. While standards aren’t perfect here, there are many more laws in Sweden about advertising that make American advertising “laws” quite laughable.
In Sweden, companies are not even allowed to advertise toward children under the age of 12. In the U.K., advertisements must not ‘exhort children to purchase or to ask their parents or others to make enquiries or purchases’.
This is quite different from advertisements in the U.S., which are very much directed at young children to pester their parents into using a product, my best example being a few years ago when my children saw a Chuck E. Cheese commercial in Texas and then told us, “This says the coolest parents take their kids to Chuck E. Cheese. Why aren’t you guys cool parents?”
To come around to the original KFC subject, let me share something that I found interesting:
Sanders sold the Kentucky Fried Chicken corporation in 1964, and the gravy recipe was changed in the 1970s. Colonel Sanders was quite disappointed, stating “My God, that gravy is horrible. They buy tap water for 15 to 20 cents a thousand gallons and then they mix it with flour and starch and end up with pure wallpaper paste. And I know wallpaper paste, by God, because I’ve seen my mother make it. … There’s no nutrition in it and they ought not to be allowed to sell it. … crispy recipe is nothing in the world but a damn fried doughball stuck on some chicken.”
Now THAT’s truth in advertising!
Just reminding everyone that I have a new book out – “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom” – which is great summer reading while you’re on vacation, but most of all, IT CONTAINS ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS!
For sale in the U.S. here – https://amzn.com/1530292964
For sale at other Amazons, such as – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964
For sale in Sweden here – http://tinyurl.com/zfjql79
After 2 years of longing, my husband finally got the object of his dreams – a Ninja Blender.
He was sucked in 2 years ago on a trip to the U.S., where several channels seem to be required by law to run day-long advertisements about the life-changing Ninja Blender. Apparently, your life is not complete without one and once you buy one, you attain total enlightenment. At least, this is what I assume from my husband’s obsession with it.
Ninja Blender isn’t sold in Sweden, but my husband figured out that he could order one with our voltage from the UK. It arrived yesterday. Nothing got done for over an hour as smoothie-making and worshipping at the Ninja altar took precedence.
Since acquiring the sacred Ninja Blender, I’ve noticed how the word “ninja” seems to be in all aspects of society. Of course, there are Ninja Turtles on t.v. and the movies, but there is also the video game “Ninja Kiwi” that my kids play constantly on the computer, as well as “Fruit Ninja” on the phone and “American Ninja Warrior” on the t.v. in the U.S.
But my favorite has to be Ninja Burger delivery service. Unfortunately, it does not appear they are active in Sweden, but look at their list of countries! (*except Detroit – apparently too dangerous even for a ninja)
One drawback of having children in Sweden who NEVER see t.v. commercials is that they become quite overwhelmed by them when we visit the U.S. After about a week, my youngest was saying things like, “This breakfast today is sponsored by…” and “Brushing my teeth is brought to you by …”
I guess I should be glad they are adapting to the customs and language.
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum trash can. Forget the Wright Brothers’ plane, Apollo 11 and the Spirit of St. Louis – where can I buy this trash can?
I just realized Father’s Day is coming up in the U.S., so I clicked on a Groupon mail to get some ideas and this one came up.
You know, I would consider buying it, but my dad would just complain that he doesn’t need another yard to take care of.