Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Nothing sells like a little potty humor

March 24, 2009

In the news you may have missed category, a couple of household products makers are trying to grab your attention with a dose of elementary-school styled laughs.

USA/First, Clorox is bringing some giggles to a blazing issue in its backyard.  Nearly 30 portable toilets have been set on fire in San Francisco according to Clorox, which is based in nearby Oakland, California.

“With more than an estimated $50,000 in property damage and potential fire hazards, this is no bathroom joke,” Clorox said.
So here’s what Clorox has planned.  It started the ”Operation Flush the Outhouse Arsonist” campaign to, as the company says, “help bring the potty pyromaniac to justice.”

The company, which makes its namesake toilet bowl cleaner and other products, took out an ad in today’s San Francisco Examiner.  In the ad, which features a picture of a porta-potty, Clorox offers a $5,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest of whomever is the potty pyromaniac.  The company is also giving away a year’s supply of toilet products to the person who gives the information.  Here’s the Examiner’s take on the news.

Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble wants to help people find a place to go when they need, well, a place to go.
P&G’s Charmin toilet paper brand on Tuesday showed off the “Sit Or Squat” web site and applications for the iPhone and Blackberry that helps users find clean public bathrooms.
In case you were wondering, yes, this is the first time a toilet paper brand partnered with a downloadable mobile application, according to P&G.  The SitOrSquat site lists more than 52,000 toilets in 10 countries.  Depending on the ratings of users, a toilet is called a ”sit” — clean enough to sit on, or a “squat” — well, you get the idea.

(Reuters photo of portable toilets lined up in Washington in January)

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