Posts Tagged ‘sponsor’

No logo

20 November 2013

I have another confession to make.

I wouldn’t think of wearing a shirt with a giant swoosh across the top, let alone the word “Lacroix” emblazoned across the top (sweetie darling sweetie!). Years ago I gave up on wearing football jerseys — apart from the fact that I am completely crap at anything involving a ball (let alone being tackled), I didn’t want to be a human billboard for whichever corporate sponsor was sponsoring the Parramatta Football Club corporation which is part of the National Rugby League corporation. Want to advertise? Do it on someone else’s chest.

But corporations can be sneaky. In this case, they didn’t dump mercury-containing waste on my back doorstep (or in my dental cavities), feed me genetically-modified corn (frankencorn), charge me $5 for water from my tap or any of the other nefarious things some corporations would love to do to me. Oh no no no no no no. They found my one weak spot, a chink in my armour, and shot an arrow right there:

Tea.

For those of you who know me, I adore a good cup of tea. And, yes, controversially that includes rooibos, my beverage of choice. There is a certain zen to tea drinking; the process of brewing the kettle to the right temperature, the stillness, sipping the tea and letting it envelop the senses. Tea truly is the “heavenly leaf”, and I drink tea partially as a meditation technique as much as anything else. It’s safe to say that I am fervent in my love of tea, and equally distasteful of its evil twin, coffee.

So imagine my delight when I found a boutique tea shop here in Melbourne. T2 was selling me just what I wanted: sencha quince, gunpowder green, loose-leaf rooibos. And there is the tea paraphernalia: special teapots to brew the rooibos in (it has really fine leaves like pine needles, and if you try to brew it in a normal teapot you’ll have leaves everywhere), cups and saucers and travel mugs and tea caddies and magnetic labels. They added cold drip tea, iced tea, and delectable macarons in a quirky but interesting shade of slate blue. Going to T2 became a Sunday afternoon ritual for me, where I bought two bottles of cold drip tea to face Mondays with.

Yep, a corporation had got me. Skewered me beautifully with a whole bunch of tea-related stuff. And I was loving it.

Turns out that T2 was bought by Unilever, a multinational corporation if ever there was one. And my humble, artisanal hand-plucked tea shop was turning into the Australian version of Starbucks, but with tea. And my tea caddies magnetic labels and travel mug? All marked, of course, with a CORPORATE F*CKING LOGO, because that’s just how they roll.

So now I’m looking coolly at my tea paraphernalia. Do I really want a Unilever logo in the sanctuary of my tea cupboard?

No.

Do I want to support this company as it goes down the Starbucks route of dumbing down its tea for the mainstream consumer?

No.

<sigh>

So I’m now on the lookout for new caddies, new labels, a new travel mug. There’s no sense of urgency about this; it’s just that when I think some multinational corporation has weaseled its way into my tea chest, it’s time to say enough is enough.