Get a load of those zeroes, man.
I’ll bet there aren’t many of us who would object to such a nicely rounded addition to their bank balance. Especially when all they would have to do in return, more or less, was come up with a new, winning flavour for a packet of crisps. No illegal activity required or anything, like.
You would, unsurprisingly, have to compete against a great many others in this endeavour – millions of them, perhaps – but still, worth a shot, eh? A possibility that comes with that many zeroes attached is – much like a newly opened packet of crisps – hard to resist. And you would certainly figure that I, in my daily spudness, would be all over it. Except, the thing is, I’m not.
The competition in question is being run by Walker’s – a U.K. company, but owned by Frito Lay, a much bigger international brand which, in turn, is part of that global conglomerate, PepsiCo. Six entrants will have their flavours realised as limited edition crisps, to be sampled, voted upon, and a winner chosen to receive that sizable bag o’ cash. It’s open to Irish residents as well as those in the U.K. (though all of the named “home grown ingredients” – one of which must be included in the proposed flavour – are resolutely British; in dealing with the Irish market, it may have slipped their minds that home grown is a relative term).
Still, qualms about provenance aside, I might – complete with dollar signs in my eyes – have thrown my hat into the flavour ring, except for the fact that (oops!) having previously written about Walker’s in a mildly unfavourable way with respect to the Irish market, I could – depending on the interpretation of the competition terms and conditions – be considered ineligible.
Because, in the end, this is really not about crisps but about very big business – the kind that can offer a prize of such magnitude, and the kind that would be more than happy to grab an even bigger chunk of the Irish snack market, inevitably at the expense of home grown businesses – not just the Tayto / Largo Foods empire but the likes of O’Donnells and Keoghs too – who do a more than decent job of catering to our needs in the crisps department, thankyouverymuch.
And I doubt very much that any of this occurred to the PR person who emailed, wondering if I would promote the Walker’s competition in return for a few packets of crisps (and nothing that involved any extra zeroes). I declined politely but, somewhat ironically, have written about it anyway – I deliberately didn’t link to any promotional material, however, though youse can, of course, look it up on the interweb if you’re so inclined. And, if you do find yourself on the receiving end of a million quid, then perhaps give a thought to spending at least some of it on things that are truly home grown, wherever home is for you.