Monday, February 3, 2014


Check out this email from genetic testing company 23andme for the most upbeat corporate email I've received recently. Scroll through to the end and see which bit stands out:

Hmm, what's that tucked away in November? Government f***s our entire business model when the FDA decides unilaterally to extend its authority to include not just medical treatments, but medical tests? And announces this by ordering us to shut down our health-based business model immediately? As part of an illegal power grab not even authorised under legislation whose very existence would give the founding fathers grave concerns about the commerce clause as currently written, or indeed about the wisdom of having a commerce clause at all?

But look, in February we were also on Jeopardy!!!

I'm trying to imagine a similarly cheery email just glossing over an equivalent corporate disaster.

Dow Chemicals Newsletter, December 1984:

What a year it's been! We've had some highs and lows, but we've managed to get through:

February: Dow Chemicals celebrates a 15 year retrospective on its most lucrative contract to date - supplying Napalm to the US government for the Vietnam War. Peace through superior firepower!

April: Dow earnestly supports President Reagan's call for an end to Chemical weapons, stressing that chemical production should be used for peaceful purposes.

July: Our famous company 4th of July BBQ proves a great success. Our illustrious COO wins second prize in the 'best potato salad' competition!

November: Plastics! Dustin Hoffman names Dow Chemicals as a motivating factor behind the famous 'Plastics' line in the movie 'The Graduate'. Plastics division reports record sales increase of 35%

December: Nasty chemical spill at Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, poisons half a million people, killing over 8000 immediately, becoming worst industrial accident in history.

December: Christmas! Dow bonuses, pre-approved before the recent unpleasantness, get paid out to all employees

Let's face it, whoever is working PR for these guys is earning their money right now.

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