When Michael Phelps was caught smoking marijuana, Kellogg’s decided that anyone who exhibited that kind of horrendous behavior could not be featured on the cover of their boxes of Corn Flakes. Only a shady brand like General Mills would allow drug abusers who are addicted to their products like the Trix rabbit and Sonny the cuckoo bird to grace cereal box covers and live the lives of cereal celebrities, despite their obvious problems.
But just think of all of the business Kellogg’s lost! After all, the only characters they have on their boxes are a rooster, a raisin-scooping sun, a steroid-abusing tiger, and an uptight toucan. Their soggy flakes aren’t always the first thing potheads think of when they start getting the munchies, but with the new pot icon on the box, Kellogg’s would have reached a whole new demographic. Plus you’d think they’d want to go forward with selling the cereal with all of the work it took to get Michael Phelp’s long mug on the cover of the boxes. But instead they gave away the thousands of boxes that they’d already produced to food banks, where they were promptly snatched up and sold on eBay. But as silly as this cereal saga may be, inadvertently creating a collectible Michael Phelps box isn’t the biggest problem a cereal company can have, as an Oregon cereal company found out.
The Golden Temple company’s Peace cereal box (now there’s a cereal name that deserves a marijuana icon on the box!) contained a small typo that gave consumers a big wakeup call. If someone was munching on their breakfast cereal and wanted to give the company a call to let them know how much they enjoyed it or that they’d found something more than a toy surprise inside their box, when they dialed the company’s 800 number, they were greeted with a voice asking, “Do you love sex?…Isn’t that why you called?”
Well, I guess hearing an automated voice ask you about sex sure beats a cup of joe as a way to wake up in the morning! Of course the cereal company is trying to get the product pulled from shelves, so consumers who enjoy calling the 800 numbers on their cereal boxes to spend an hour of their morning going through an automated menu and talking oats and grains with a “professional” will soon be able to do so again without fear.
This may seem like bad publicity for the cereal company, but sex does sell, and I’d never heard about Peace cereal before this story broke. I might even be tempted to buy a box, if I knew where to find it. Oh well. At least Michael Phelps isn’t the only one suffering from a cereal stigma anymore.