If you’ve been sitting on some great idea that will make life easier for the average consumer, you can try pitching it to Procter & Gamble, writes the New York Times. Swiffer, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and Glad ForceFlex trash bags all originated outside of P&G, although in most cases these outside ideas come from other companies. Still, you can go to their Connect + Develop website to pitch your own products if you like–just don’t try putting swiffer booties on cats, because they’ve already rejected that idea.
The entrepreneur-humanitarians behind Bacon Salt, Bacon Pop, and Baconnaise have introduced two new products. J & D’s has expanded their bacon flavoring empire to bacon-flavored microwave popcorn and another product that is neither food nor seasoning—snail-mail envelopes.
The FDA is calling on consumers not to fall for unapproved bogus “swine flu” or “H1N1” products that claim to offer a cure or other health benefits. There’s even a “swine flu shampoo” that claims to protect against the virus. Awesome.
Edrants.com recently edited together all the moments of Leno & guests dropping product names. Yes, this is just one episode’s worth of product references.
Yesterday a reader sent us a pretty funny screen capture of a Sears product page with a suspicious category description (see above). By the time we got around to checking it out, Sears had corrected the error. It turns out, however, that the real problem was the Sears website was built in a way that lets anyone mess with the category descriptions.
Last week, we wondered whether Tentacle Grape soda was a real product or a funny/tasteless joke that had turned into a scam, since people had placed orders for it with real cash and had yet to see any product. A reader named Harley emailed us to say a box of the soda just arrived at his address today, along with a condom, naturally. Because that’s just classy. He adds, “I can’t comment on the taste as I haven’t yet tried it, but I don’t think I’ll be using the condom.” Click through for a bigger pic.
Yours truly Ben Popken was featured ever so briefly in a NBC Nightly News report tonight about the Grocery Shrink Ray.
Karla writes, “I thought this fun little tournament might interest Consumerist readers, especially the possibility of a Billy Mays vs. Vince from Shamwow showdown in the Sweet 16.” The contest will determine the “greatest ‘As Seen on TV’ product,” although with entries like Video Professor and Miss Cleo on there, “greatest” seems to be loosely defined.
Here’s something you might want to get fixed. Wolf Appliance Inc., of Madison, Wis. is recalling 24,000 of their gas ranges because the 18″ oven has a tendency to shoot flames when the door is opened. This has resulted in 15 minor burns.
The CPSC has issued a consumer alert, urging you to stop using Simplicity Inc.’s “close-sleeper/bedside sleeper” bassinets after two infants died after being strangled by the product’s metal bars. The company is refusing to cooperate with the CPSC and will not recall the product.
Widge at Needcoffee.com wrote a similar post about Arm & Hammer’s new “30 day” baking soda and got a response from Arm & Hammer PR. We’re being kind when we say that reason consumers are being told to buy 3 times as much baking soda is nonsense. We’re sure there are more colorful words that would be just as accurate.
Procter & Gamble has announced that you will pay more for your Tide and Head & Shoulders and all their other consumer products. P&G is raising prices by as much as 16% on “fabric, home and hair care, bar soaps, and health and shaving products.” P&G is the manufacturer of popular brands such as Gillette and Ivory soap.
If you’ve got a baby and you’re concerned about buying unlabeled products that contain Bisphenol A or BPA—which some studies have indicated may lead to adverse health effects in humans—the website Z Recommends has just launched a free text messaging service that lets you query their database of companies while you’re standing in the store. They’ve also got a printable wallet-card you can carry with you, which serves as both a cheat-sheet for the text service and a quick reference source for major companies.
”We’re trying to reinvent Polaroid so it lives on for the next 30 to 40 years,” Tom Beaudoin, Polaroid’s president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, said in a phone interview Friday.
The Boston Globe profiles the last remaining shoe and boot maker in New England, Alden Shoes. The company’s classic footwear has been worn by the likes of John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Indiana Jones… and the Massachusetts state troopers. The shoes will set you back about $350-$500 a pair, but they seem like awfully nice people. “Our shoes don’t wear out,” says Robert Clark, Alden’s vice president. [Boston Globe]
Hey, do you know what’s in Nair, the creamy hair-removal product that smells like skunks? (Or used to—the current formulation is supposed to smell better.) Now, thanks to Wired’s “What’s Inside” article, you will! The active ingredient is potassium thioglycolate, a member of the thiol family, which not coincidentally is also responsible for the intense stink factor of skunk spray. Thiols “eat into keratin (a skin and hair protein), which is what makes actual skunk spray (and Nair) lock onto human flesh and fuzz.” Another chemical—calcium hydroxide—destroys the weakened hairs.