Monday, June 2, 2014

Need To Cut Back On Sugar? M&M's Doesn't Consider Knives "Family Friendly"

In my email this morning was an alert from Knife Rights. It seems that they had placed a business-to-business order for packets of M&M candies with the Knife Rights logo on it. The candies were for an upcoming promotion which I assume is the Blade Show. The order was placed, the salesperson was very friendly, and all was good until four days later when the salesperson called back saying his bosses had declined the order because the word "knife" was not considered "family friendly".


I'll let them continue the story.

The candy was ordered for an upcoming promotion through M&Ms' customized Business to Business department. The customer service representative, Christian, was very helpful and the order was placed. Then four business days later we received a call from Christian to let us know that they would not fill the order since "the word knife is not family friendly." That certainly came as news to us! Christian apologized for the delay getting back to us, we had called twice seeking confirmation the order would arrive in time, saying he had argued hard for us, but that his bosses wouldn't budge.
We asked for a confirmation in writing of what he had told us, but when that was not forthcoming, we sent an email to him confirming the conversation we had and asking the company to correct anything that wasn't factually correct. Shortly thereafter, Christian's supervisor, Kathy, called. We had a similar conversation with her, to no avail, and again asked that they confirm that they were rejecting the order for the reasons both Christian and she provided, that the word "knife" was not "family friendly." Instead we received a totally disingenuous email:
"Thank you for your email and allowing us to respond to your concern.   
We would like to confirm that we have received and processed your request to cancel your order.  We are sorry to hear that you are cancelling your order and hope to have an opportunity to make your next event more special with personalized MY M&M'S® Chocolate Candies".
To which we replied:   
Thanks for this, but your email falsely states that this order is being cancelled at my request.  Please note that I do NOT wish for the order to be cancelled -- it was your company decision to cancel the order because you object to the name and mission of our civil rights organization.  I have had several phone calls with representatives of your company trying to save this order.  Your cancellation notice falsely stating that the order was cancelled at my request only adds insult to injury, and is outrageous.
With that email they went from simply making what we view as a poor business decision by irrationally discriminating against Knife Rights, America's knife owners and our many Second Amendment supporters, and moved on to falsely describing the entire transaction in a outrageous attempt to avoid responsibility for their actions. Knife Rights did not cancel the order; M&M's did. 
We just thought you ought to know. For ourselves, we intend to wean ourselves from their products. Mars, Inc. is the parent company and one of the world's leading food manufacturers, that while perhaps best known for its chocolate and candy brands (M&M's, Milkey Way, Altoids and Life Savers to name but a few) is also in food, pet care and drink products with many brands you know, including Wrigley, Uncle Bens, Seeds of Change, Pedigree and Whiskas. You can find lists of their products at:

Come Halloween this year our family will carve our pumpkins using several different knives, but instead of giving the children who come to our front door M&M's, Snickers and Milky Ways, as we have for many years, they will be given a treat that will not bear the Mars, Inc. brand. 
If you'd like to let them know how you feel about the word "knife" not being "family friendly," you can contact M&M's at: 1-908-852-1000 (M-F 9:00-5:00) or via email using the form at: 
 You can also leave a comment on M&M's Facebook page.

My doc has been after me to cut carbs and sugar so eliminating products from Mars Inc. will become one way I'll be doing it.

I'm was surprised to find out that Seeds of Change, which I assumed was a small organic grower of seeds, is just another cog in a corporate conglomerate. I wonder how many back to the earth, Birkenstock-wearing, gardeners are aware of that. You might as well be telling them that it is owned by Monsanto.


  1. Toeing the administration's PC line... sigh And I liked M&Ms dammit...

  2. I have a good friend who is very high up in that firm. She runs a LOT of their business.

    I will tell you now that M&M Mars has cancelled tons of orders for all kinds of special packaging for all kinds of reasons. It's a real simple metric: if it doesn't feel right, they won't do it. It has nothing to do with politics. If the message does not further the company brand - or if it might distract the brand or cause it to be caught up into a controversy - they cut it. It's a ruthless philosophy...and it's called "capitalism".

    I have no idea why it is our community suddenly feels entitled to everyone else's stuff. Why it is we get our collective panties in a bunch because M&M's won't put a knife logo on their private packaging, or why we think it is OK to co-opt some private fast-food place (Starbucks, Chipotle, whatever) into our little games and expect them to like being drug into the drama.

    Seriously, we need to chill out and stop demanding everyone to be like us, and to give us their stuff. We are sounding like the entitled brats on the other side.

    I don't even like chocolate, but am going to buy a bag of M&M's for my kid, just out of spite to the jackhattery going on in our community over these trivially inane weapy-eye crybaby sessions.

  3. Patrick, did you not read this essay? The problem is not about any sense of entitlement, it's that Mars, Inc. LIED, which was wholly unnecessary.

    Perhaps a reading comprehension class is in order for you?

  4. I understood the essay just fine. I addressed the larger concern...or at least thought I did.

    So let's be clear: your concern is less about the supposed bias against a fundamental civil right, and more about the fact some marketing droid delivered the news the wrong way?

    Which is more important to you?

    Let me be clear (to rid ourselves of comprehension problems): I don't know exactly what transpired behind the curtain at Mars, but know that this happens all the fracking time with all kinds of companies and groups. They run a private - and tight - ship. They don't take stands on such social issues, and I do not read this as a stand on 2A.

    If you think the real cause for concern is the way they seemed to automatically cancel the order with a cut-n-paste email, then good for you.

  5. Another thought: while free to choose your candy, burger and burrito any way you want, the fact that a national organization is suggesting that the rest of us avoid certain products and firms - not because they actively hurt our rights, but because they did not let us use their brand name to further our politics - is the absolute definition of "entitlement".

    I comprehended that, just fine. It's right there, in print.

    We demand everyone respect our rights, but then fly fingers in their face when they demand we respect their right to do business with the least drama possible.

    Try comprehending this:

    We are not entitled to use Starbucks as a public venue to mock political opponents.

    We are not entitled to use Chipotle for photo-ops that cause their customers concern.

    We are not entitle to use M&M Mars for our political fights.

    In each of these case, someone on our side got their panties in a twist because - horror of horror - capitalistic firms did not let us abscond (that means "steal", for comprehension-challenged persons) their valuable brands for a social issue that ranks just below abortion in its ability to create divisive and damaging discourse and reaction from the public.

    Let me be clear, to avoid comprehension problems: when our community asks a large corporation to risk their brand identity over our cause, we will lose almost every single time. The only question is how much we lose. These public demonstrations and demands are not helping any of us.