Break the Chain Where's Israel, Fuji?

Exclusive (3/6/2002) Has it ever happened to you that an honest mistake is misconstrued as a blatant intentional affront to someone? It happens to large corporations every day, but when it's done through e-mail, the truth rarely wins out over the fiction.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Subject: Fuji CO.takes Israel off map

Please inform your friends about that demarche of Subaru-Fuji, makers of cars, cameras and the like.

Fuji Co. removed Israel from its complimentary world map that they gave to their customers with purchase. Yes, in Fuji stores abroad you receive the world map without Israel!!! According to Fuji, we just don't exist... It is most likely done to entice Arab customers. It is a very dangerous precedent - it looks like an indication that Arab calls for boycott of Israel start bearing fruits. Many Israelis today called for boycott of all Fuji products - film, cameras, batteries etc (see readers responses in todays Yediot Aharonot). Luckily - there are alternatives: film Kodak, Agfa, cameras - Nikon, Olympus, Samsung, Cannon etc.I personally consider this Fuji's action the worst possible insult for Israel. Encourage those in your cirlces not to buy anything made by Fuji Even 3-5% reduction in Fuji's sales will cause them to reconsider. Also important to note - Subaru is Fuji.

http://www.ujfmetrowest.org/

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

With tensions growing in the middle-east - and Israel and Palestine in particular - chains like this one have become quite popular. I've seen many chains that claim different companies have slighted Israelis in order to "entice Arab customers." Companies blamed have included Fuji and Wal-Mart. While most of these chains are based on truth, they ignore the real truth in favor of a sensational conspiracy-laden explanation.

A chain-breaker who wrote Fuji/Subaru to verify these claims got the following response from Subaru's PR department:

"Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the e-mail about Fuji Company, and for reserving your judgement until you received our response!

"Subaru of America, Inc. has received several inquiries alleging that the Subaru parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., is distributing world maps that do not include Israel. This is completely inaccurate. Fuji Heavy Industries/Subaru distributor has not published or distributed a map of the kind we have heard described. In fact, Israel has been a very important market for Subaru vehicles over the years and we hope this success continues for many years to come.

"An email containing this erroneous information also confuses Fuji Heavy Industries with Fujifilm, a completely separate company that is not related to Subaru/Fuji Heavy Industries.

"Subaru of America, Inc. is deeply troubled that a few misinformed individuals would link our organization to such an unacceptable practice. We would greatly appreciate your assistance in informing the public of this erroneous information.

"We appreciate that you brought this matter to our attention. "

Best wishes,
Sandi Parente-Geiges
Subaru of America, Inc.

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So, Fuji/Subaru and Fujifilm are different companies, but what about the map? Fujifilm told Snopes.com that they have not produced, distributed or sanctioned such a map. Their statement explains that a third party produced a calendar that includes the map in question and used the Fujifilm logo without permission. The company took quick action to stop the distribution of the calendar.

Unfortunately, with chain letters like this, the truth is rarely as interesting as the fiction created to explain it, so it doesn't get spread quite as far or as long. Break this Chain!

What Do You Think?

Category: Armchair Activism
References: None

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