In this season of emerging colds, Copyranter takes Ricola to task for their new promotion where, if some lucky person gives a "Mystery Cougher" a Ricola cough drop, he or she might just win $1,000,000. Well, actually, it's a chance to be entered in another contest to win the money, but apparently the "Mystery Cougher" will be in New York this Friday. And the "Mystery Cougher" is just an actor faking the cough, but whatever, apparently Ricola's insurance policy will be able to cover whatever issues he face with New Yorkers. Copyranter fumes at the Ricola marketing department:
- Have you Dillweeds ever riddin’ a subway? A person could blow through a case during one 20 minute trip without moving his/her feet. More importantly, the cough drop giver-outer would also probably be socked/stabbed/spit on 4-5 times. That’s a conservative estimate.
- Because... city people don’t like to be looked at, let alone talked to, LET ALONE offered a FUCKING cough drop from a FUCKING stranger that could be poison in a Ricola wrapper for all we know.
- Could you have AT THE LEAST included a disclaimer eliminating all the poor sick cold homeless folk as the potential mystery hacker?
Gothamist's own, basic problem with this promotion is that we think coughers should stay home. Or remain extremely discreet. People walk away from coughers. Is Ricola trying to give the NYC-metro population colds, by being in sneezing-hacking distance of actually sick people? How this promotion can fly during the age of SARS and various other to-be-discovered diseases, we don't know. In fact, we might have to call the Health Department.