Amalgam ban demanded in Germany
Joel M. Eichen
joele at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 27 18:05:49 EST 1999
arie_ at hotmail.com wrote:
>The following Press Release From Germany has been translated by Mats
>Hanson, Ph.D. of Sweden.
Germany bans the use of amalgam . . . . . .
and outlaws the unfair Lands' End advertising in the process.
Ahhh, those Germans. They figure they can't compete with us
so what do they do? They create laws favoring and protecting
their own inferior industry. Its no more than a cleverly
disguised tariff on imports!
Lands' End is a catalog company that sells very fine clothing
products worldwide. In fact, the products are so good that
the company knows that there are almost no returns. They
claim that the products are superior and therefore they come
with an unconditional money-back refund for any reason
whatsoever. Returnable for cash.
Now some dude sitting at his bureaucratic desk over in
Kurfurstandamm in Berlin says, "This makes no economic sense
at all, therefore it is outlawed. It will be made illegal."
Bad move, Germany. The Lands' End executives, after they
stopped laughing, capitalized on the silliness of it. In
England they advertise, "Our products come with a guarantee
so good that it is banned in Germany!"
Now the ad agencies are having a very good time of it,
ridiculing the outrageously funny bureaucratic edict. This
reminds me about the great fun that we Americans are having
almost every single day with all of the spurious anti-
amalgam, "its just poison" arguments!
Zippo Lighters too, had to change their advertising within
Germany. In the rest of the world, they proclaim a "Lifetime
Guarantee." In Germany, its only a "30 year guarantee."
However, this does comply with German Law.
Ahhh, those Germans. How they try to limit the competition.
Can the Swedes be far behind? We Americans, well, we are made
of 'sterner stuff' (from Julius Caesar, by William
Shakespeare). We love competition. In fact we thrive on it!
Joel M. Eichen, D.D.S.
PS- Any reports of massacres from industrial mercury bomb
blasts? I do not recall hearing any reports from Hans in the
last few days. This sure keeps unsuspecting people from
getting amalgams too.
September 26, 1999
Lands' End's guarantee is so good, it's banned
By George Boehmer ASSOCIATED PRESS
FRANKFURT, Germany - In Germany, some guarantees are just too good to
Threatened by the American catalog company Lands' End's money-back
guarantee, no matter what, retail competitors took the company to
Germany's highest court - and won a ban on advertisements publicizing
Lands' End is responding with ads in German newspapers and magazines
poking fun at the ban. There's a picture of a fly with the caption:
1-Day Guarantee. A washing machine, guaranteed 6 months.
And next to the Lands' End logo: "Advertisement forbidden in
The Dodgeville, Wis.-based company expanded overseas to England in
1993, Japan in 1994 and Germany in 1996, exporting, along with its
classic chinos and wool cardigans, the guarantee that it will take
back any of its products, any time, no questions asked, cash back.
Within a year of launching the German business, the company was being
sued by an agency that monitors advertising claiming unfair
advertisement. The case went to the Supreme Court in Karlsruhe, which
banned the ads last month. It ruled that the guarantee was
"economically unfeasible" and therefore amounted to unfair
The guarantee was not an issue in Japan or England.
The case is not the first time that American marketing savvy and
German conservatism have clashed. American producers of Tupperware
were banned from advertising an unlimited guarantee, so they dropped
theirs to 30 years to match Germany's statute of limitations on
Zippo lighters avoided legal action by deciding to remove the
lifetime guarantee from German packaging.
"It's fun in a way to watch Lands' End," said Philip Haleen, an
American lawyer in Germany who has done work for Zippo. "I've been
here in Europe for a long time, and there's a U.S. way of doing
business, and there's a German way of doing business."
High-court decisions are final in Germany, and Lands' End is
considering whether to appeal at the European Union level.
But in the meantime, the company is trying to get the word out to its
German customers any way it can - such as the oblique print ads
launched last week.
The company may be aided by the expanding world of electronic
commerce, which seems to be quickly outpacing German law. Customers
who log onto the Lands' End German site can enter the U.S. site, where
the guarantee is spelled out.
And, ironically, the ban has been good advertising.
In Britain, the company has run print ads proclaiming: "A guarantee
so good the Germans banned it."
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