Allow me to trace my steps back to the cause of my chagrin with these ‘elite’ brands that claim to know people. Product endorsement comes in many ways- from celebrities claiming how best deodorants keep them dry all day to past users of a product swearing by their pinkies how a certain soap got them a boyfriend or a job simply because their skins got fairer. I have no bone to pick with this kind of endorsement- I mean, all they seek to take advantage of is how the consumer connects with the celebrity or a user they relate to with regard to their depicted way of life.
Endorsement from professional bodies is what unsettles me. The consumer places his complete trust to professional bodies such as those in the medical and cosmetic fields, foods and beverage among others. These bodies act as consumer watchdogs and are supposed to give an unbiased platform .
I then fail to see how, some brands sport and invoke the names as well as identity logos of professional bodies such as the Kenya Paediatric Association, the Kenya Dental Association. Pampers, Colgate, Dettol and the rest of these elite brands are having a field day reinforcing the claims of their product benefits to consumers. And what do they think? That these products are better than the rest who can’t afford such professional endorsement right?
On mere conjecture, it is my believe that these bodies have a strict requirements set if a product is to be endorsed, and a steep fee paid on application for consideration. Therefore most of the small manufactures may be eligible to proclaim endorsement, but cannot afford to compete financially. Controversial huh?
If it wasn’t the case, why isn’t the medical association of Kenya endorsing Panadol or Deep Heat for our athletes use at the Olympics? Why isn’t Eno endorsed to relieve indigestion by the same medical association? Or Brookside milk by the dental association- it does contain calcium which is good for the teeth, doesn’t it? Or Glucose endorsed by the athletes association for reenergizing our athletes?
The products brandishing such endorsements may have earned it, but I’m questioning the criteria and eligibility to get such an endorsement. I believe if a product has met the Kenya Bureau of Standards criteria for safety and use, then professional bodies should not feature in claiming that one brand of toothpaste or sanitary pad is better than the other.
If all products use the same methods and standards bureau to determine how safe and appropriate for use by consumers they are, then what is the point of these professional bodies endorsing some over others?