Airborne is busted!

I know people who swear by the supposed cure-all for the common cold. I’m all for natural remedies over drugs, but false advertising is never acceptable. New York Times is reporting that the makers of Airborne have made a $23 million dollar settlement in a class-action law suit.

The bigger problem here is that people will believe anything.

There’s a reason NyQuil is regulated by the FDA – it contains drugs that actually work. But, you can have your Airborne (if it still exists next week). If the placebo effect still works after a court settlement, by all means, you should feel empowered to continue in your sweet ignorant bliss. But if I were you, I’d try to cash in on your settlement refund first.

Link to Times article

In Defense of Complaining

Should companies be immune from complaints? Cory Doctorow put together an answer to that question. Cory is one of my new heroes, I think.

I’m always astounded by this reaction. Companies aren’t charities. They’re businesses. It doesn’t matter why they’re offering an unacceptable product — all that matters is that the product is unacceptable. Companies aren’t five-year-olds bringing their fingerpaintings home from kindergarten. We don’t have to put on a brave smile and tell them, “that’s just lovely dear,” and display their wares proudly on the fridge. I don’t care if Apple adds DRM because Lars from Metallica has incriminating photos of Steve Jobs, I don’t care if Sony BMG put a rootkit on its CDs because they were duped into it by a trickster spirit that appeared to their technologists in a dream. I care whether their product is worth my money. It’s the market — there’s no A for Effort.

Even weirder is the idea that companies shouldn’t be criticized because in a market, you should just take your business elsewhere. Free markets thrive on good information. For a market to function, customers need to have good information about which goods are worth buying and which ones should be avoided — that’s why we complain in public, to help companies make better decisions.

Link to article (via BoingBoing)