[See update at end of this post.] When P&G started advertising several months ago that it would give $1 to wildlife conservation organizations for every bottle of Dawn dishwashing liquid, little did they know the relevance that ad would have today. Pictures like this on the evening news have to disturb everyone:
With images like this, no wonder P&G seems to have stepped up its advertising of Dawn and its wildlife connection. (Dawn is often said to be used to remove oily slicks from birds.) Here is the full-page ad that appeared in the June 6, 2010 issue of Parade magazine:
If you didn’t read the fine print, you might have assumed that P&G was giving one dollar to these causes for every bottle of Dawn sold.
*Up to $500,000. Must visit dawnsaveswildlife.com to activate donation.
It is not unusual for these charitable promotions to have a cap, but it is more novel to require the purchaser to register their bottle of dishwashing liquid online to trigger the actual donation. (Each bottle has a unique code number.)
When one visits the referenced website, however, you learn that the contribution cap has already been reached.
“Dawn has reached its goal! Thanks to thousands and thousands of Everyday Wildlife Champions like you, Dawn has successfully reached its $500,000 donation goal to the MMC and IBRRC wildlife conservation organizations—and far ahead of schedule.”
While the Parade ad was certainly placed in advance, that doesn’t excuse P&G from continuing to air television commercials (as it did this past weekend) or if it takes out additional ads promoting the $1 donation, which has already ended. By continuing to advertise that P&G is going to give a dollar to these wildlife efforts, the company will be encouraging people to go out and buy Dawn under the false impression that that small act will result in more money going to save these poor birds when in fact it won’t.
July 2, 2010 UPDATE:
P&G contacted Mouse Print* on July first to indicate that a website glitch last month made it appear that it had already reached its goal of donating $500,000. The company said that not only was the goal not reached, but that it is extending the promotion until mid-2011, and doubling the maximum amount it will contribute. Here is their statement:
“There was a small glitch with our website that falsely announced that we had reached our goal last month. That was quickly fixed and consumers were able to activate their donations shortly afterwards. In fact, Dawn has been so inspired by the passion of the Everyday Wildlife Champions that we’ve decided to extend the program until July 2011 and increase our donation goal to $1,000,000.”