I hate it when the product out of the box appears noting like—like totally NOTHING like—its picture on the box. Hold that thought…there’s a little background filler I need to discuss.

I abandoned my ambitions to run for president several years ago. There was a time when I thought I would make a pretty radical president, but that’s been newly redefined lately so maybe it was best I took my hat out of the ring, put it atop my head and walked off into the sunset.

There were some very specific planks to my platform on which my campaign would have been based. I think I may have even discussed them in one of my past postings on this blog. One controversial position was the establishment of Christmas being celebrated only once every three years. This was my gift to troubled gift-givers who fret every year as the short turnaround on Santa’s annual visit seems to come more quickly with each passing.

These are the same people who think the next Christmas will always be better because they’ll have more money the next time. Of course, that never happens.   And it may not happen with a three-year span either, but at least the stress will come less frequently.

It’s the next plank that I want to talk about since the issue once again found its way to my dinner table tonight. My plank is pretty much summed up in the first sentence of this posting. I think a picture on the outside of a product’s packaging should very accurately illustrate what’s inside. I’d make it the law that an actual product rolling off the factory conveyor belt would be randomly selected and photographed for the package cover. No enhancements to the picture would be permitted. The entire consumer product industry would be turned upside down attempting to cope with this new regulation while all of us on the other side of the cash register would have a better idea of exactly what we are buying. The process is called WYSIWYG, what you see is what you get.

fishdishsm2Take Exhibit A for example. Here is a frozen dish put out by The American Halal Company of Stanford, Connecticut. It’s packaged under the name of Saffron Road and this particular selection features Sesame Ginger Salmon with white rice. The dish is certified Halal, is an authentic recipe, the salmon is wild caught and the whole thing is gluten free. On the front panel is a picture of the product, a large portion of which is a savory chunk of salmon lying on a bed of white rice and surrounded by stringy carrots, crispy water chestnuts and green beans. The folks at American Halal call it a “Regal dish for Japanese Royals.” My advice to them is to beware of swinging samurais

As you can see in the picture the regal dish looks nothing like the meal on the box, not even close. The piece of salmon was about one mouthful, not the nice succulent wedge pictured on the package. American Halal should be ashamed.

And guess what? I bet you think it didn’t taste anything like you would imagine, having seen the picture on the box. You guess right. The salmon was rubbery and fishy tasting; the rice was mushy and the green beans limp. Maybe if you were into the 34th day on one of those television survival shows it would be delicious.

As for me, I left the table hungry and angry. This kind of misleading marketing is as shameful as selling bad land to hopeful homebuilders.

Well America, you had your chance. I was going to run, but it’s too late now. I can suggest, however, a good book if you’re interested.


About Marc Kuhn

I am a retired radio exec. I've worked at major stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami. That was then. This is now: I've published seven books and this blog thingy. Need to know more? Really? Okay, I bare/bear all at http://marckuhn.com The other links are for the websites of each of the books I've written. I've been busy! Hope you'll stop by and check them out. Thanks for your interest!
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