Walgreens, the largest drug retailing chain in the country, recently did something very stupid. It started selling Pit Bull Defense Maximum Strength Pepper Spray.
What’s that, you wonder? Frankly, we’re not sure. By the look of the package, it seems to be a pepper spray that you can use on a Pit Bull who is attacking you, but that would be stupid — would it not work on attacking Beagle? An attacking cat? An attacking French Bulldog? An attacking neighbor? How did they make pepper spray that would only work on an attacking Pit Bull?
Or, more likely, the company is simply using the Pit Bull’s unfair image as a violent dog to sell some more units of regular pepper spray. This is probably the case.
Either way, it’s an idiotic product using a disgusting marketing gimmick, bolstering the misconception that the Pit Bull is a violent dog. (The Pit Bull is not a violent dog.) Once news of this trash hit blogs such as Seattle Dogspot and Justice for Mary, people got mad, and they acted. Facebook pages such as Boycott Walgreens and Anti-Walgreens went up, and more importantly, calls were made to Walgreens. The individual stores, with people demanding to talk to the managers. That sort of thing. Good stuff.
And the managers responded. Joe Meyer, who created the SignOn.org petition where you can sign a petition to stop Walgreens from selling the product (around 8,000 signatures so far!), has been particularly hard at work. He has received assurances from Walgreens that Pit Bull Defense Maximum Strength Pepper Spray was a “local buy” from just a handful of stores, and that it has been removed from store shelves.
Corporate Walgreens has also been busy, posting apologies to blogs and the Facebook pages, including its own. Here’s one from the Justice for Mary site:
We apologize to everyone about the pit bull spray that was only sold in five stores. We can assure you that this was not a corporately purchased item. It was never our company’s intent to condone the inappropriate singling out of any one breed of dog. Instead, a very small number of our stores obtained it for sale on their own. As a result of us becoming aware of the product, we have told those few stores who are carrying the item to stop selling it immediately. We also will ensure other locations don’t carry it, too. Thank you and be well.
So, Walgreens seems to be quickly tamping this terrible episode down, and good for it. The next group to deal with is obviously the manufacturer of this product, but, according to Meyer, finding out exactly who makes it will be difficult, because there’s nothing identifying the makers on the package, and Walgreens hasn’t given up the info.
“There is no logo on the packaging, no ‘from the makers of,’ no leads, no name, nothing. So we know that this was a privately funded poor attempt to make a quick buck.”
Considering that there’s no quick buck to be made if nobody sells it, we hope this product will go away on its own. But the guy could have closet full of unsold product, so keep an eye out for it — I’m thinking corner stores and swap meets.