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Lip Balm Anonymous Presents the Industry of Addiction

Bonne Bell Lip Smackers

Bonne Bell was started by Jesse G. Bell in 1927, naming the company after his daughter. Their most popular brand is the Lip Smacker lip gloss. In 1973, Bonne Bell introduced a flavored lip gloss. The first flavor created was Strawberry and today, there are 26 flavors to choose from: Dr. Pepper, Watermelon, Cherry, Bubble Gum. Wild Raspberry, Pina Colada, Passion Fruit, Orange Pop, Peppermint, Red Raspberry, Grape Jelly, Vanilla, Blueberry, Peach, Starfruit, Pink Lemonade, Pineapple, Guava, Banana, Apple, Raspberry Chocolate, Tropical Punch, Jelly Bean, Kiwi, and Mango.

Bonne Bell makes no bones about targeting kids: their press releases tout the large ($133 billion) purchasing power of children. They also make a big deal about the fact that they do not test on animals. While that is to be commended, wouldn't it be wonderful is Bonne Bell stopped testing on our kids! Although Bonne Bell literature touts children as being "aware of brands and advertising" and "receptive to new products, new technologies, and new styles" we would rather think of kids as being plain old impressionable. Don't our kids have enough trouble finding acceptance in the world without companies like Bonne Bell brain-washing them into thinking using a lip product is cool?

Where do Lip Smackers come from?

Here's an excerpt from a Bonne Bell press release:
Thanks to modern science, any flavor (synthetic interpretations of natural flavor) can be duplicated, such as Mango, Bubble Gum, and Guava, just to name a few. These flavoring ingredients are also used widely in processed and prepackaged foods and beverages. In developing the individual flavors, our research staff works with independent essential oil manufacturers to achieve the best intended flavor. The finished flavor submission is often composed of two dozen or more ingredients and may take several months of refinements before the final approval by labs. Many of our combination flavors are achieved by creative blending in our own labs. Lip Smackers are also sensitively tested by outside clinical laboratories to make sure our products are of the highest quality. Each new Lip Smackers is also tested to insure complete safety to the consumer. The raw materials which make up Lip Smackers are melted together, and the warm liquid is poured into containers. The flavor is added a the last minute to insure the freshest taste and smell. The stick is sent through a cooling tunnel which makes it solid.
Doesn't modern science have anything better to do than create Raspberry Chocolate lip balm? Aren't all the starving people in the world a higher priority for scientists than creating yet another lip balm flavor? I tell you, these companies will not stop until we're all hooked!

Club Smackers

Bonne Bell's latest tool is Club Smackers. For $4, your child can get a colorful membership certificate, along with a bag full of Bonne Bell products: Apple Blossom Cologne Spritzer, Starfruit Body Lotion, Vanilla Vibes Smackers Bath and Shower Gel, and Pina Colada Lip Smacker lip gloss.

What kind of parents allow their kids to use Pina Colada flavor lip balm? What's next, beer, rum, or whiskey flavors? Some parents probably won't stop even when they bring out Heroin Balm.

Bonne Bell Web Site

We've saved the worst for last! Bonne Bell now has a Web site propagandizing their products, including Lip Smackers, their lip gloss product. Lip Smackers are detailed in the Lip Balm Anonymous Industry of Addiction pages, and we found their Web site to be despicable on several counts. The site is obviously geared for children, yet the large graphics take forever to download via modem, the method most kids use to access the Internet. There is even a large Lip Smacker Flavor Glossary in Adobe Acrobat format. There are also pertinent links describing the "fun, fruitlicious, collectable flavors" of Lip Smackers, or the "colorful fun" of Lip Lix, their new lip color plus flavor product. There's even an advice column where kids ask for advice and solutions always involve Bonne Bell products. Someone ought to ask these folks if they know how much damage they're doing to our kids! The Bonne Bell Web site is truly a bad omen for us all.

Last updated on July 23, 1997
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