P&G not happy that Pringles are, legally speaking, potato chips

Posted on Tue May 26 2009

Pringles-copy

Somewhat bizarrely, Procter & Gamble is rueing a legal decision by three British judges that Pringles are, in fact, potato chips. P&G was hoping they'd be classified as a "savory food," because then it would have avoided a 20p tax on every £1.45 pack of Pringles sold, and would have gotten a £100 million refund for taxes already paid. P&G had argued that Pringles—which contain 42 percent potato, 33 percent flour and fat and 25 percent other stuff—did not have sufficient "potatoness" to be classified as a chip. They've been trying to avoid this tax for years now, but they should have known the free ride couldn't last forever—almost every scrap of their advertising labels them as chips. In this day and age, it's naive to think a British judge with Internet access wouldn't have seen that. You'd also think it would be risky to wage a legal battle in which you're arguing against the potatoness of your potato chips. But consumers probably don't care one way or the other, as long as they taste good. To upset British shoppers, you generally have to come out with an "offensive" ad instead.

—Posted by David Kiefaber


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