Break the Chain Mmmm, Mmmm, Maybe

Last Updated 10/30/2002 (11/21/2003) Every once in a while, I get a chain that is both real and one I can endorse. The Campbell's Click for Cans campaign comes close.

SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT

HEY ALL YOU FOOTBALL FANS OUT THERE... TRY THIS....

Even if you hate football, this is a easy way to help feed the hungry. Follow the instructions below. Please pass it on.

All you need to do is click on the link below (takes you to the Campbell's Chunky soup page) and click on the helmet of the team you like the best.

Campbell's is donating a can of soup (up to 5 million) to area food banks just by clicking on a helmet at their website. It's quick, easy and can be done once a day.

http://www.chunky.com/click_for_cans.asp

END CHAIN LETTER TEXT

Campbell's originated the Click for Cans campaign early in football season, 2000. The campaign concluded when the goal of 5,000,000 cans has been reached in mid-december of that year. The 2001 campaign reached it's goal much more quickly, so Campbell's reopened it to allow an additional half-million clicks. The 2002 campaign reached the 5 million mark in less than two weeks. The campaign returned in 2003 and, by mid-November, had logged more than a million clicks.

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The recurrent campaign has been shrouded in controversy the last few years as Campbell's people were curiously tight-lipped about the details, such as who the food was going to and how it will be distributed. Other campaigns in their "Tackling Hunger" promotion mention that the cans will go to the "teams' designated food bank," so it seemed logical that this is the destination for these donations as well.

This is not the case. Campbell's does, indeed, donate the promised 5 million cans of soup. The donations are actually dented or otherwise unusable cans the company reclaims from retailers. The damaged containers (the food is fine) are shipped to redistribution centers of Campbell's choosing, where it is distributed to food banks with which the center typically does business.

Many claim that Campbell's marketing of the Click For Cans promotion misleads interested parties to believe that when they click on their team's helmet, that team is credited with a can of soup that they can give to the food bank of their choosing. Upon being questioned about it, a Campbell's spokesman explained that the company "will make a donation of one can of any Campbell's soup on behalf of that team to the national Tackling Hunger donation."

Another snag in this campaign is the that, each year Campbell's has done the Click For Cans promotion, the e-mail about it has circulated long after the campaign has reached its limit and closed. The solution is simple: Check that they are still collecting clicks before you forward the e-mail. Break this Chain.

What Do You Think?

Category: Real, But...
References: Snopes.com

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