retail news in context, analysis with attitude

So, we got a number of emails regarding the “Schweddy Balls” ice cream controversy...about which I have said the following:

I’m sympathetic to the moms, and have gotten a couple of emails myself from parents who think that this is a little tasteless. I’m a parent, and when my kids were young we had to occasionally navigate our way around uncomfortable situations that occasionally led to questions that I preferred not to answer. But the point is that I was able to do that, and when I didn’t or couldn’t, I dealt with it. That was my job.

And I don’t think that all marketing has to be child-friendly.


MNB user Steve Sullivan wrote:

Half the country out of work.  World Economy in the toilet.  Can’t get Palestinians and Israelis to agree to a peace that could only benefit all of them.  Terrorists around the world.  Education being endangered because of underfunded schools. Hunger effecting millions in our own country. 

Earthquakes.  Hurricanes.  Tornados.  Frogs. Locusts.

And they are worried about Schweddy Balls.


You forgot fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes... The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Another MNB user wrote:

Kevin... I'm a regular reader of MNB- first time that I've written. Excellent reply expressed in KC's view about Ben & Jerry's. Rather than trying to shelter your children from everything they may face in life (and they will encounter a great many things!)... use it as an opportunity to have a good conversation with them. Help them to learn to analyze things and make GOOD choices about things that matter.

From another MNB user:

Why is it everybody who doesn’t agree with some thing or want to consume something feels compelled to “protect” the rest of us grown ups form doing what we feel comfortable with.

Here’s a novel idea simply don’t buy it…that should pretty much shield your child from the dreaded plague of humor.


MNB user Guy Wheeler wrote:

I liked your comment - "and I don't think all marketing has to be child
friendly." i.e. Viagra and Cialis?


Hey, I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve shut off the radio or changed the channel because I find those commercials were simply hard to explain to my kids. That’s called being a parent.

And, from still another MNB user:

I agree completely.  So while this Limited Edition is out, stay away from Ben & Jerry's when you get ice cream, there are many wonderful brands out there. That company is known for controversial flavors, remember them changing "Chubby Hubby" to Hubby Hubby" in support of gay marriage?  They bring it out and then it goes away quietly in a very short time if you let it be, all the groups do that protest it is...draw more attention to it. Most kids have never seen SNL and will not even know what that means UNLESS their parents start going crazy about it.....then they may have  some explaining to do. There are a lot of foods out there with the word "Balls" in it....Cheese Balls, Snow Balls, Oreo Cookie Balls, etc, are we going to protest those, too? Nah,  just quietly don't buy it.....no need for protest.

MNB user Clayton R. Hoerauf wrote:

I must admit I got a little worried when it looked like you were going to cave to the mommy’s….. but you hit it out of the park at the end. Everything in life offends someone. I’m on my way to pick up some ice cream!









Regarding the recent Sur La Table acquisition, one MNB user wrote:

Hi, Kevin, I wish your excitement over possibly getting a new kitchen shop nearby had been tempered by the disturbing news that this icon of Seattle has been acquired again, this time by foreign investors (or maybe US investors who avoid taxes by basing offshore). Besides the political and economic implications, how does becoming an investment to “1000+ high-net-worth clients” bode for Sur la Table’s future customer experience?

To be honest, I thought about the foreign aspect of the story when I commented on it. But the thing is, the company was already partially owned by a private equity group, and the reality is that we live in a global economy. Rather than complaining about foreign companies buying US companies, maybe US companies ought to get more aggressive about global expansion.
KC's View: