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PILLARS posters, FYI

Katie Pieper | Wednesday, March 9, 2011


You didn’t have a contact email on your website, so I’m forced to write a letter to The Observer. Inefficient, I know. But it says on your website that “Education is Golden,” so I thought I’d do a little educating while I’m at it. I want to address your most current poster campaign — the one where you compare the percentage alcohol in Listerine and Rubbing Alcohol to Everclear, and then list a bunch of terrible things that will happen if you drink Listerine. There are some problems with it.

Let’s be brief:

Problem No. 1: Listerine isn’t made for human consumption.

Problem No. 2: Rubbing alcohol isn’t made for human consumption.

Do you know what eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol are? I didn’t either, but the Listerine website was really informative. Those fine chemicals are the active ingredients of Listerine, and also the reason why you shouldn’t drink it. Because they’re poisonous.

There’s a similar issue with rubbing alcohol. On the poster, you don’t specify what kind of rubbing alcohol you’re referring to. Let’s assume for a minute it’s isopropyl alcohol. Now, isopropyl alcohol isn’t ethyl alcohol, which is what you drink. The chemical difference is important — isopropyl alcohol is poisonous. And even if the rubbing alcohol in question was 70 percent ethanol, the makers are specially required by the FDA to add chemicals to it to MAKE IT poisonous.

It’s like you’re trying to say we shouldn’t drink orange juice because it has ingredients in common with orange scented Lysol, and drinking cleaning products kills. The symptoms listed on your poster aren’t caused by the alcohol in these products, they’re caused by the additives — additives that were specifically added to prevent people from drinking them! That’s the whole point!

I appreciate your mission, PILLARS, but this is just nonsensical. Have some respect for the intelligence of your audience.

Katie Pieper


Pasquerilla West Hall

Mar. 8