As far as I am concerned, the link between ice cream and happiness is a fact.
And I am not the only one of that view, which is why the decision of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to uphold a complaint about an ICE CREAM MAKES U HAPPY sign on a dairy in Tui Crescent in Maunu, Whangarei is so bizarre.
We live in weird times.
Not so long ago a complaint from an individual who appears to have a thing about ice cream (and presumably other dairy products like chocolate - which definitely makes people happy) would have been ignored, as is utterly appropriate.
Not so nowadays where every view, no matter how far on the extremity of the normal curve, gets taken seriously.
In this case the complainant was a local person. From what I can determine they live a couple of streets away and pass the dairy on their way to work. Presumably they walk to work and have an opportunity to study the signage at this particular dairy.
I make that presumption because according to their bio they are into fitness and wellbeing and environments that make it easy to be active and eat well.
That's great. I too encourage health, fitness, wellbeing and good manners at the dinner table, but surely one does not have to sacrifice ice cream to do that?
I really do like ice cream; orange chocolate chip is a personal favourite, and I am actually quite responsible about it. Like, it's not the only food I consume, and it's only as a treat because it really does make me feel happy.
The complainant was of a view that saying Ice cream makes U happy "is extremely irresponsible given the obesity and mental health problems that exist in New Zealand".
Personally I have never heard about the connection between ice cream and mental health - all I know is ice cream does make me happy.
Perhaps it does cause mental health issues - I don't know about that and clinical trials may be needed.
The ASA, in its infinite wisdom, decided by a majority that "the advertisement did imply there is a link between ice cream and happiness, and this could potentially undermine the health and well-being of consumers".
Here are some facts.
For me, there is a link between ice cream and happiness. Could saying that potentially undermine the health and well-being of consumers? Yes it could, if someone seeing the message was stupid enough to think that ice cream was their only source of happiness or indeed the only food they should consume.
But do we really need to base our standards on what some dumb-bum would do. How about applying a standard of what a reasonable person would do?
Or is that just not PC enough in this age of sensitivity and inclusiveness?
Here's another confession: MCDONALD'S HAPPY MEALS MAKES KIDS HAPPY.
Frank Newman, a writer and investment analyst, is a former local body councillor.