SpongeBob SnotRags

Dear Proctor and Gamble,

You might remember me from when I wrote to you about how bars of your Ivory For Baby Smooth Skin soap crumble apart too easily. Or maybe you don't remember that. The truth is, I occasionally write crabby letters for my newspaper column, but I never actually mail them.

Today I'm upset about the packaging of your Puffs Plus facial tissue. But before I get into that, I just have to say wow, it sure is something that Proctor and Gamble happens to own both of the products I've decided to complain about this year. Somehow you've managed to really capture the Paul Lundgren market, though it remains a hostile one.

The reason why I buy Puffs Plus instead of regular facial tissue is because I have allergies and blow my nose a lot in the fall. Because Puffs Plus is fortified with lotion, my nose stays smooth and beautiful instead of red and flaky. For that, I must thank you, Proctor and Gamble.

What I'm upset about is the new marketing collaboration between Puffs and the Nickelodeon cable TV network, which has resulted in cartoon characters appearing on boxes of Puffs Plus. As a grown man, I do not want SpongeBob SquarePants on my facial tissue boxes.

Don't get me wrong; I understand the importance of enforcing in the minds of children that blowing one's nose is super fun like a wacky cartoon. And I have noticed that the cartoon characters only appear on some boxes of Puffs Plus and not all boxes, giving consumers an option to choose a normal box.

The problem is that, at my neighborhood store, single boxes of Puffs Plus are $2 and packages of three boxes are $4.99. I have to buy three boxes because, as mentioned before, I blow my nose a lot. And, of course, I want to save the extra dollar by buying the three-box package.

Well, the three-box packages all contain one box with a cartoon character on it. So, as you can see, I'm screwed. Please get the damn cartoon characters off your Puffs Plus boxes or at least arrange through your vast corporate network for me to get free cable so I can find out who the hell Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius is.

Somewhat sincerely,


Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.