SoBe "Help Me" Messages In Bottle Caps Have The Internet Deeply Concerned For Their Employees — PHOTOS
Remember when you were a kid and packaging had secret messages on it? Like a candy wrapper with a joke on the inside, or the stick of an ice cream with a pun burned into the wood? It was like Christmas every time you finished your treat, because treat plus secret message equals best day ever. Or maybe not when it comes to SoBe Life Water, who have raised concern with a secret message inside their bottle caps which reads "Help me, trapped in SoBe factory." It's causing great concern amongst SoBe drinkers, who aren't sure whether or not the secret message is a joke or not.
SoBe has made the following statement (many times over on their Facebook page), assuring consumers that the message is, indeed, not intended to be taken seriously:
"Hi there, we’re sorry that our cap slogan caused you concern, that was certainly not our intention. These sayings are intended to give our consumers a little smile or pause for thought, not offense, while they enjoy their favorite SoBe beverage.
We are planning on removing this cap slogan from our current rotation, however, it will take a while for existing stock to run through the market."
Even though SoBe water has had "funny jokes" in their bottle caps before—for instance, like the below co-opted Anchorman quote—consumers were not amused by the new "help" message.
Maybe it's because people are more politically correct these days, or maybe it's because we live in a world where many consumers are more aware than ever of factory conditions that jokes about them aren't taken lightly. BuzzFeed highlighted the following facts about production to bring that into perspective:
"Around the world, some 21 million people are victims of forced labor, according to the International Labour Organization. Of that figure, some 19 million people are exploited by private individuals or companies.
In the United States, some workers in the garment industry or food processing plants work 12-hour days, six to seven days a week, according to the Trafficking Resource Center.
UNICEF estimates that 158 million children ages 5 to 14, or one-sixth of the world’s children, are engaged in some form of child labor."
Sure, SoBe's "help" message might have been intended to be lighthearted. But given the state of factory production, it turns out, no one is really ready to make jokes about abused workers. So the "joke" is now just one giant facepalm.