The margarine conspiracy

Our intrepid corporate correspondent gets to the bottom of the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" mystery.


Kenneth H. Cleaver
November 18, 2000 1:30AM (UTC)

Sept. 15, 2000

"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"
c/o Lipton
800 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Dear ICBINB:

Sophisticated in their understanding of culture, politics and literature, my friends -- and you can dust this for sarcasm -- are a bastion of profundity. They had little difficulty plowing through the teary-eyed haze of nostalgia surrounding "The Phantom Menace" and dismissing it for the travesty it was. They subscribed to Details magazine when it was under homosexual editorship and canceled months before it became the midwife to Maxim and Stuff. However, on one particular topic, their critical faculties have lapsed. My friends willingly believe that your product "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" is not butter. "It's just margarine, Kenneth, get over it already."

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But I can't get over it. While my cohorts may choose to believe they are getting butter for margarine, I would like it known that I, Kenneth H. Cleaver, do not, will not and cannot believe that your product "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" is not butter. To state this more succinctly, I think your product is butter.

Perhaps it is not "good" butter; perhaps it is not organic butter. Perhaps it is not churned colonial style in a gnarly wooden tub by shawl-clad indentured servants. But my internal radar, honed for detecting all kinds of consumer chicanery, issues forth strong blips in the general direction of Englewood Cliffs, N.J. I challenge you to prove me wrong and promise my confidentiality should you prove me right.

Sincerely,
Kenneth H. Cleaver

"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" responds:

Mr. Kenneth H. Cleaver
P.O. Box 810
Bedford, NY 10506

Dear Mr. Cleaver:

It was thoughtful of you to let us hear your comments about "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"

For many years, our company has been making every effort to provide customers with superior products to meet their individual needs and preferences. Comments such as yours are certainly gratifying -- and most welcome.

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As a token of our appreciation, I am enclosing a coupon for your use. If we can be of use in the future, please contact us.

Sincerely,
Lee Hunter
Consumer Representative

Oct. 11, 2000

Mr. Lee Hunter, Consumer Representative
"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"
c/o Lipton
800 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07362

Dear Mr. Hunter:

Enclosed please find a copy of my previous letter. Your response offers no evidence that you actually read it. Perhaps you thought my quest for truth could be purchased with a free coupon. You are quite mistaken.

Executive summary of my previous letter is as follows: I believe your product "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" is, in fact, butter.

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I am returning the coupon I feel is just shy of an insult.

A timely and relevant response would be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Kenneth H. Cleaver

"I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" responds:

Oct. 16, 2000

Mr. Kenneth Cleaver
P.O. Box 810
Bedford, NY 10506

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Dear Mr. Cleaver:

I am writing to follow up on your recent correspondence regarding "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!"

We are pleased to know that you enjoy using our product. In response to your inquiry, "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" is classified as a "spread," as stated on the label, which means that it contains less than 80 percent fat. In order for a product to be called "butter," it must contain at least 80 percent fat, among other requirements. You may find additional information on this subject at your local library.

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Once again, thank you for your loyalty to our product. I have enclosed a coupon for a complimentary container, which I hope you will enjoy.

Sincerely,
Gina Papale
Specialist


Kenneth H. Cleaver

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