While visiting my Dad in the U.S. this weekend, I saw one of the most disturbing commercials I’ve ever seen. The commercial was advertising Dixie plates, cups, cutlery, etc. The premise behind the commercial is that by using disposable paper plates and cups for your family dinners, you can free up more time for your family.
I can’t think of a more absurd marketing campaign; even when I was growing up in the 1980’s, before the environment was a common concern. In addition to the absurd commercial, their website advertises their products to be used to combat germs. Here are my favourite quotes from their website:
- “Pack ‘Em, Toss ‘Em: Even those water bottles you brought from home harbor germs when you let little ones share—a problem easily avoided when everyone gets his or her own cup. And when the day’s over, just toss ’em away. No need to lug sippy cups and plastic sports drink bottles to and from home when you start off the day with the Dixie brand.”
- “Dixie products require no washing, drying or saving-just toss ’em in the trash.”
- “For Moms, great days include those extra-special surprises—little moments squeezed into the everyday circus of life. Sometimes it’s a walk in the park. Or an extra story at bedtime. And with products from Dixie, and help from our new Website, it’s easy to find them.”
- “Inevitably, you’re going to hear, “That’s MY cup!” and “It’s MY turn for the blue plate!” Suddenly, dinner time has turned into an all-out war zone¯and you haven’t even served the food. Keep things calm (or at least, calmer) with Dixie products.”
I read through some newsgroups to see what other people thought about this commercial, and there are people who actually believe that using Dixie plates is better for the environment than “wasting water” to wash dishes: “Which is worse? Wasting water washing dishes (and using dish soap) or using paper plates that can be recycled and are biodegradable?” This statement is even more ludicrous than the Dixie commercial itself. I’m not even going to get into a debate over which is better for the environment. I think it is obvious that cutting down trees to make paper plates that are disposed of every day and driven to landfill sites to bioderade is far worse than using water and dish soap to wash your dishes (Even if your dish soap isn’t biodegradable, my argument still stands; and if anyone would like to argue this statement, I’d love to prove you wrong).
Dixie is owned by Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products, located at 133 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30303 – 1-800-283-5547. Click here to contact Georgia-Pacific to voice your opinions on their advertising campaign. I’ve already sent them a scathing message about their poor choice for an advertising campaign. Let them know how you feel too.
Jim Hannan, Georgia-Pacific’s CEO and President even had the nerve to make the following BS statements on his Social Responsibility Report:
- “Sustainability is about doing more with less, leaving more resources available to meet other needs. It’s also good business and that is why we work to incorporate sustainability into our business processes.”
- “Operationally, we’re focused on doing what’s right for the environment — minimizing the adverse impact of our products and processes and addressing key issues like energy use, air and water quality, and waste reduction.”
Wow, those quotes from the website are really shocking. I can’t believe that in this age, when more and more people are becoming conscious of our impact on the environment, that Dixie is promoting itself on the basis of creating even more trash.
I found this blog when I was looking for information to log my own complaint about this horrifying advertising campaign. (The first time I’ve ever been moved to do something like this.) Thank you for your eloquent observations! As a full-time mom, I’m very aware that my actions and choices are closely observed and mimicked by my children. I would never dream of teaching my children to avoid a few short minutes of washing up (which can be good family time, if done right) to purchase expensive, unnecessary paper products. It’s far better modeling to use our shrinking meal preparation budget to purchase locally grown organic produce!