Seeking to evade a 17.5% sales tax, lawyers for Procter & Gamble successfully argued that Pringles aren’t actually potato chips. Even though all Pringles containers are clearly marked “Potato Crisps,” Procter & Gamble’s lawyers argued that “Pringles don’t look like a chip, don’t feel like a chip, and don’t taste like a chip.”
The absurdly hypocritical claims were made to weasel out of a British tax on potato crisps and other potato-based foods. London Justice Nicholas Warren ruled that Pringles were made, not of potatoes, but out of good ‘ole fashioned American chemicals.
Potato chips “give a sharply crunchy sensation under the tooth and have to be broken down into jagged pieces when chewed,” the Cincinnati-based company’s lawyers argued. “It is totally different with a Pringle, indeed a Pringle is designed to melt down on the tongue.”
Warren agreed. Pringles aren’t “made from the potato” for the purposes of the tax office’s exemption, he said. He didn’t say what Pringles are, other than that they’re tax-exempt.
What’s that old adage about a duck?