Thursday, November 11, 2010
A fire in one of its generators left the Carnival Splendor dead in the water and easy prey for the media. Fueled by 4,500 passengers, many of whom have cell phones and can report and elaborate on the gory details of clogged toilets, cold showers etc, the ship has become news story of the week.
Featuring prominently in the story has been Spam and Pop Tarts which have become the diet of the unlucky passengers while the planned feasts have stayed uncooked and rotting. A typical report has been saying something along the lines of: "The passengers are not going to have to survive on Spam for much longer."
For a while, I was wondering how Spam and Pop Tarts were on board in the first place. They didn't seem like there would be much demand for them under normal circumstances. But it turns out that these were some of the products included in the food drops made by the Navy as it brought emergency supplies--and Spam and Pop Tarts were the ones with brand names that journalists could glom onto.
Overall, a bad week for Carnival whose offer of a full refund and a free, future trip is not really stemming the tide of bad press. And a bad week for Spam and Pop Tarts as well. I can't imagine that either brand was looking for this level of publicity associating them with emergency supplies. I know that, when I worked on Coffee-mate, way back when, that's the last thing that I wanted.