20th Century Boy

I’m not a historian, but I do have an interest in early 20th Century history and society and technology
I especially love all the glamour and artwork and sheer care and joy that went into crafting some of the adverts for even the most mundane of stuff.
This is not done so much today. I and people I work with shudder in horror when we hear the name “Nadine Baggot” and “Pentapeptides”, but not all companies chase the new ideas and disregard the old.

An example of this especially this time of the year, is the seasonal push by companies like the Coca Cola Corporation. They’ve been around for a while, so have a very large back catalogue of stuff to use. Nostalga sells especially if you’re marketing carbonated soft drinks. However its sanitised for a modern audience, as although people like the idea of the old days, they often view it with a healthy dose of soft focus from the safety of 50 years into the future.

Anyway I digress.

I was searching around some old valve radio sites when I found a link to this wonderful resource
The Ad*Access Project at Duke University

Shall I say retro nerd heaven?
I keep thinking though if I let our marketing team loose with the claims that used to be permissible in the days before the MHRA and Trading Standards…… I would be in it deep. Up to my nostrils in fact
As an example I leave you with this delight from 1929.
Happy days!
Wildroot Hair tonic

An Update!
Whilst browsing through Badscience.net, I found a post with links by someone under the name of Dibsy
The link went to here
Scroll down until you find the all time favourite of “Thor-radia” cream and powder!
Ladies! get a radiant glow with the special actives of Thorium and Radium!
A product for the time of your (Half) life!

MHRA alert

This concerns OSAS body lotion (Hat tip to Badscience.net)
MHRA Press Release regarding OSAS (Intensive body lotion with Aloe Vera) containing Steroids

This sort of thing, how shall I say it, “Grips my Excrement”
The industry has enough problems with people like the Daily Mail having pops without idiots like this selling a product which contains licenced prescription only pharmaceuticals, and passing it off as a cosmetic product.
To quote the MHRA

Home The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has found steroids in an intensive body lotion with Aloe Vera called OSAS, which claimed to contain natural ingredients. The lotion which is an unlicensed product illegally claimed to treat eczema and psoriasis and has been found to be sold in a variety of Asian and African beauty shops in London and the West Midlands and over the Internet.

Oh great!. Birmingham trading standards is always having to go to these sort of places to get illegal skin whitening creams and “Ethnic cosmetics” such as Kohl which contains enough lead to kill a horse off the market.

The lotion was brought to the attention of the MHRA by a paediatric dermatologist who became concerned when the parent of a baby he was treating for eczema started to use this product on the baby. The lotion tested positive for variable amounts of, Betamethasone dipropionate – a type of medicine called a corticosteroid. The product also contains Clotrimazole which is used in anti-fungal medications.

Strong corticosteroids (such as betamethasone) are only available on prescription and are used in the treatment of a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Careful medical supervision of these treatments is important and inappropriate long-term use of corticosteroid medicines can cause skin thinning and other skin complications.

The Agency would strongly advise that anyone using this product, particularly on young children and babies, should stop immediately. Discontinuation of the product may cause a rebound effect (worsening of the condition) and you should therefore consult your doctor or healthcare provider about suitable treatments.

Anyone selling this product should stop doing so immediately, and remove it from their stock. If retailers are found to still selling this product then the MHRA will take appropriate action.

Unfortunately “Appropriate action” will be along the lines of confiscation of stock, or a fine
Prison would be more appropriate

At the time of writing, this is still on sale on ebay

Daily Fail cocks up again!

Another Stupid Scare Story
This time Titled “Is your lipstick giving you cancer”
(And a quick note to Daily Mail Journalists I have a copy of this cached for when you delete it and try to pretend it didn’t happen)

All Scary stuff about how nasty Butyl Benzyl Phthalate is and how new research has proven that its really nasty and should be banned.
Well the industry agrees with you, its not good and it should be banned

Oh I forgot it already has been. A year ago (August 2006 to be precise) thanks to the EU, so no Daily Mail reader will be able to get their hands on it anyway
Thanks to the CTPA for being on the ball

And a comment to the author of the piece who is called David Derbyshire
Didn’t they teach you to at least check your facts before embarrassing yourself in print, or do you subscribe to the opinion that you don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good horror story.
Sir, You’re officially named “Gripper of the Week” , and you only get that accolade as I don’t think you’re intelligent enough to be a Wanker!

Them and us …..

A little gem I robbed off the Cnwmr website
No its not Welsh, but a Marketing company in the US who proved that a Prius is less ecofriendly than a Hummer

Whats below is verbatim rip, but before you read it, if you substitute Japanese for the competition, and American for your company, does it still ring horribly true? If it does, ask yourself this one thing.

Do I need to learn Japanese?

The Canoe Race

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.

Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese team won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.

A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action. Their conclusion was the Japanese team had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

So American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

To prevent another loss to the Japanese, the Americans’ rowing team’s management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the “Rowing Team Quality First Program,” with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment.

The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year’s racing team was outsourced to India!!!!

Jojoba, the month before November

Billy Connolly,

The most quoted video in the toiletries industry

Watch it, Watch it now

Sarah Beeny. How Toxic are you love?

Well that badly made bit of tat is rattling around the industry at the moment.

A premium example of badly made pseudoscience. I’m sure somebody somewhere has given it server space, but it sure as hell won’t be me.

There have been discussions in the lab where to start on it.

Is it the fact that the numbers don’t match up on the toxin loadings

Is it the fact that she can’t count the number of “MAN MADE CHEMICALS!!!!” on the back of a bottle of shampoo

Is it the fact that it was so disjointed and repetative, and that this was due to them having to edit out a lot of lies, and then they ran out of space.

 This will probably run and run, but for starters (And because if I did a full fisking of this I could easily rack up 2-3000 words minimum) I’ll just post a few links to forums where the full horror that is Beeny is being stripped bare

Beeny site

Channel 4 forums

Badscience forums

Doesn’t stop the crystal stroking side of the industry trying to cash in mind

 Oh and did I mention the “MAN MADE CHEMICALS”.

The bit about the breast milk though was the point that annoyed most people I’ve talked to on the school run.

The average Mothers attitude was. “Don’t you dare tell me that I have toxins in the tit, but its OK really”.

No information, no levels, no backup. That lost it for the target audience.

Note for producers: Don’t play the baby card unless you really want to back it properly. Without suitable wadding it will blow up in your face

Update 15/10/07

A mate of mine has suggested that if you were really p’d off by the programme, you should tell channel 4 about it. You can do it here:Channel 4 complaints

For every need a product

I’m a believer in manufacturing products for people who think they might have a need for them. It pays my Mortgage

I spotted some of these products in Boots, and fair enough I’ll link them here, as they have caused much astonishment in the lab

Bald Guyz Head Wipes (!)

 Only in America (And your local Boots)

I dread to think what category our friends in the land of the free will come up with next