Last week, “Daily Show” alumnus John Oliver launched his new weekly comedy news show on HBO. Normally, this wouldn’t be something that we would care about, but the premiere show included a segment on dubious food advertising, starring POM Wonderful. The company responded to the segment with a lovely gift for the show’s staff.
That segment skewered questionable health claims made about products like mayonnaise, Pop-Tarts, sugary cereals, and pomegranate juice. Oliver and his writers did not in any way encourage viewers to deface product packages with the stickers that they posted online. These stickers boasted about products’ rat urine content, spread the message that each bottle of POM contains four Pomeranians, and declared Frosted Mini-Wheats to be “Arguably preferable to hunger.” (You can watch that segment here, if you missed it.) Some viewers went ahead and did that thing they were specifically not instructed to do, even bending the message a bit.
POM Wonderful decided to congratulate the newborn show on its debut with a gift. The company sent over a mini-fridge, a few cases of their juice, and a letter.
After a few passive-aggressive remarks on the show and how the company can totally take a joke, the lovely people at POM insist that they didn’t really mean customers can cheat death by drinking their juice, and that the company believes its point of view will prevail in the Supreme Court. Fine. As for the show’s suggestion that women give the men they care about enemas of pomegranate juice, well, the company will “take it under advisement.”
In closing, the company told Oliver and his staff, “What you do with the cooler of POM is your business.”
For the benefit of any subtext-challenged viewers, he translated POM’s message: “I simply cannot think of a more elegant way to say, ‘Here’s a crate of our product. Go ahead and shove it up your arse.'”
Free fridge, though.