Law in Contemporary Society
In examples such as the “mountain-fresh” Dasani water, I don’t feel so much that it’s a con as an advertising strategy. Nearly every producer purports that their product is the best on the market and will do this and that and change your life (whether it is true or not)... I think most people are aware that this is common to all advertised products and that each consumer must decide according to their own ideals what they will buy. I agree that this persuasion in advertising is likely to target certain people or certain peoples’ sweet spots, but I think that considering this strategy to be a con makes nearly everything a con. Doesn’t it?

-- WhytneBrooks - 21 Feb 2008

  • Yes, in the first instance. We therefore discussed spring water as a Squaresville Pitch, favorable geography variant. Dasani raises the stakes a little, because it is not spring water, but just filtered municipal tap water, identical to what comes from the pitcher in the refrigerator. Of course the label discloses, so there is no question of fraud, but most people don't bother to read. And add a false source claim--or even just omit to mention that you can get this stuff from any local sink--and liability begins to hover in the offing.

-- EbenMoglen - 21 Feb 2008

That is why Leff argues that all cons are sales, but not all sales are cons. I think mucking around in the middle, trying to determine what is just a sale and what is a con and a sale, clouds the issue a bit. I think it is more important to identify why the sale works. For example, Scientology has some of the attributes of a godcon, some of a pyramid scheme, and still others of a squaresville. Tom Cruise and I could argue over its classification but whether we call it a con or not seems secondary to understanding why it works so that, if we choose, we can defend ourselves against its enticements. Another example is the Restless Leg Syndrome industry. Identifying how the sale works would go a long way in determining whether or not "treatment" is the best way to spend your money.

-- AdamCarlis - 24 Feb 2008

Wow... first hit on google shows that Tap water is held to much higher standards (EPA) than bottled water (FDA).

The site has a lot of information in general about bottled water:

I found this to be particularly shocking, taking into account our conversation the other day regarding "the magic of the rich."

"Black, Asian, and Hispanic households are more likely than whites to use bottled water, even though blacks and Hispanics as a group have lower-than-average household incomes . . . .Scares like the municipal water contamination that occurred in Milwaukee in 1993 may have even low-income families springing for bottled water. It's clear that many households are still opting for bottled water, even though it can be an expensive habit."

I guess I just figured it was more of suburbia that was drinking bottled water... -- JosephMacias - 22 Feb 2008



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r6 - 07 Jan 2010 - 22:20:50 - IanSullivan
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