Bus Shelters Trigger Headaches

At least the ones in San Francisco did on Monday. In a clever (if not well-thought out) marketing move, the California milk industry added the scent of chocolate chip cookies to their Got Milk? ads in five of the city’s bus shelters. The idea was that once people smelled cookies, they’d crave milk.

When scent-sensitive folks smell artificial cookie odors, they are more likely to have headaches or asthma attacks than a glass of milk. Advocates for people with environmentally triggered illnesses raised a stink, and the ads were pulled yesterday.

And I thought the most obvious problem with the ad strategy is that when people smell cookies, they crave cookies, not milk. I can’t laugh too much though — if Seattle bus shelters were scented with cinnamon or rose, I’d throw a fit too.

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