Five Wives welcomed • A week ago in this space, we suggested that the Ogden-based makers of Five Wives Vodka had taken a refreshing approach to the fact that their new spirits had been banned from liquor stores in Idaho. Instead of reflexively reaching for the lawsuit tap, Ogden's Own Distillery was reveling in the nationwide publicity and selling witty T-shirts ("Free the Five Wives"). Finally, though, it took the threat of a lawsuit, as announced by large-caliber Washington, D.C., attorney Jonathan Turley, to get Five Wives on the shelves in Idaho. Turley was one of many lawyers who pushed Odgen's Own to sue on freedom of speech grounds, arguing that Idaho's claim that the silly brand name is offensive to Mormons is not proper grounds for the exclusion. We'll drink to that.
Corporate responsibility 2, Junk food 0 • Two bits of news over the past week suggest that at least some large corporations see that being part of a culture that kills their next generation of customers is not good for business. First, The Walt Disney Co. announced that it would no longer accept ads for junk food on its TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children. It is the first major media company to do that. Then the McDonald's hamburger chain named two winners in a national contest for children to help create Happy Meals with more healthy choices. One of the winners was Elayna Saley of Salt Lake City. In both cases, two of the corporations that depend the most on marketing to children are hearing the growing demand from parents, and not a few kids, to push better foods.