Monday, July 18, 2011

League of Decency - Boycott Sobe, Pepsi, Axe!!

So I get it - I'm not a prude - a gum commercial or a shaving gel commercial has to end with Harry Handsome getting a kiss from Pretty Patty - no big deal. If a Trident commercial is going to end with two people smacking lips - so be it.

However, I lived in Rome for a while, and I've seen what advertising can become. Every daily newspaper in Rome had advertisements featuring nudity. The last thing someone wants to be today is a prude, and so when commercials in our country begin to blur the line, no one seems to want to say anything. It is almost like the emperor's new clothes phenomenon - who will be the first to stand up and say, "Uh-hum, excuse me, but does anyone else notice that the woman in that jeans' add isn't wearing anything besides the jeans?"

Europe is a moral disaster - but in the U.S. we haven't sunk quite as far down the sink whole yet and I believe keeping us from falling all the way in is worth fighting for.

I recently saw a commercial for SoBe flavored drinks that sank to a new low, at least by American standards. A woman and a man enter a staring contest, the woman, wearing a bikini, uses her cleavage to get the man to blink. (aside: Vitamin Water is VERY good, and not nearly as sugary as a lot of other drinks I've tried).

As someone with sisters, and someone who has vowed to care for the souls of countless young women (and men) I can't help but think about the assault on human dignity that this commercial provokes. Axe deodorant commercials have been hyper-sexualized for a couple of years as well, and I've committed to not using their products, and, although I like a good beer maybe once a week with dinner, I'll never purchase Bud Light/Coors Light/Miller Lite because a) they taste like garbage, and b) they sell their products almost exclusively through attacking the dignity of human beings.

All that being said, I think the SoBe drink commercial merits a swift response.

Low and behold, after some quick research, SoBe is under the Pepsi corporate umbrella, and, sadly, I've been receiving a lot of emails and information from many people about the Pepsi boycott that is going on for a different reason - Pepsi is testing their flavors on stem cells procured from aborted children (click here for the story).

You can write to Pepsi about these two violations directly (hand-written letters are always the infinitely most effective means) by writing a note to the following address:

PepsiCo, Inc., 700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY, 10577

And/Or you can call the phone number to report Pepsi ethics abuses to their company by calling: 1-866-729-4888

While gathering all of this information, it once again became obvious how badly we need to put into practice that Catholic social teaching of subsidiarity. Some would say in response to these boycotts "these companies are too big - every company has things like this at some level - nobody is clean." Subsidiarity is the idea that we give our money to people locally for food and other services - thus keeping companies from becoming unnecessarily large.

What are some ways you can implement the teaching on subsidiarity in your life today? Maybe some day neither companies nor the government will be big enough to scoff at the ethics of "little people"