Originally published August 2 2010
Unilever stalks its customers with GPS trackers secretly placed in laundry detergent boxes (opinion)
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The household cleaning product giant Unilever has secretly placed GPS tracker transmitters in laundry detergent boxes to track consumers to their homes. With an array of electronic sensors, team of Unilever agents can now pinpoint the exact location of the GPS trackers and walk right up to your front door. They can even remotely set off a beeper inside the box using radio electronics.
The point of all this? It's part of Unilever's new marketing campaign to convince consumers in Brazil to purchase more boxes of Omo laundry detergent.
The GPS trackers, you see, are only embedded in "prize winning" boxes of Omo detergent. If you happen to buy one of these GPS tracked boxes, you're a "winner" and Unilever agents then show up at your door with a video camera crew and a prize.
I'm a winner? Really? Who are you people, anyway?
Unilever stalks its own customersThis new detergent marketing contest was detailed in an Ad Age article called Is Your Detergent Stalking You? (http://adage.com/globalnews/article?article_...)
That article explains that Unilever "...has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper's home 'within hours or days,' and if they're really close by, 'they may get to your house as soon as you do.'"
This creepy "Big Brother" marketing idea is apparently exactly the kind of thing the Unilever company approves of: Spying on your customers. Unilever, by the way, is the parent company that brings you brands like Lipton tea, Skippy peanut butter, Axe cologne, and the infamous Slim-Fast sugar drink that's somehow positioned as a "weight loss" product.
Mysteriously, during the marketing brainstorm sessions on these marketing plans, nobody at Unilever thought to mention that following people to their homes is considered stalking. And this whole idea of conducting covert surveillance on your own customers is kinda creepy. In a Big Brother kind of way. Hey, maybe they should partner with Facebook and release your private details on the internet, too!
But what's a little stalking compared to boosting the commercial sales of a high-profit brand? I bet they don't run this promo in Texas, or Unilever's agents are likely to get their heads shot off before they even make it to the front porch of some security-minded farm customer who doesn't let a team of strangers run up on his front porch without unloading a few cartridges from Mr. Remington.
Corporations can track what you buy and where you take itThe really important part about all this, by the way, is the realization that just about any consumer product company could be inserting tracking devices in their products right now while using surveillance analysis to determine exactly which brands you have in your home. This information could, in turn, be used to target you for further marketing or surveillance. But why would consumer product companies want to spy on you? To gather information that they can use to more effectively market products to you, of course.
If you value your privacy, all this should make you think twice about purchasing big-name products. Just to be fair, I'm not aware of any Unilever surveillance efforts directed towards customers in North America, but it is being reported through several reliable sources that Unilever is surveilling its customers in Brazil, and if the company thinks it's okay there, it is conceivable they might want to eventually expand this Big Brother marketing campaign to other countries.
Note that this is not merely an RFID tracking tag. This is something far more technically advanced: Unilever is inserting GPS tracking transmitters (basically a transponder) into these boxes of Omo detergent, and additional circuitry allows two-way communication so that Unilever agents can remotely set off a beeper in the detergent box.
Unilever isn't currently doing this, but it is technologically possible that the company could insert a listening device in your laundry products, too, and listen in as your family talks about cleaning products. (Market research surveillance!)
Some company could even conceivably insert a remote video camera and spy on your in your home by transmitting a video feed that they might later use for marketing purposes. The truth is, when you buy big-name corporate brands, you really don't know what you're bringing home. Beyond the toxic chemicals in many consumer products, you could also be bringing home a GPS transponder, a listening device or some other not-yet-revealed spy technology that arrogant corporations slip into their products as part of some hare-brained marketing gimmick.
You see, to some powerful corporations, you're just another useless eater, and your privacy means nothing to them. They just want to maximize their profits even it is means spying on you and tracking you to your home where a team of corporate agents knocks on your door. And if a corporation can justify all that, what else might they be willing to do?
Corporations have no values, you see, other than greed. And they will do just about anything to satisfy their craving for more profit, including violating your privacy. That's why we as consumers have to stop purchasing products from these big-name companies -- because we simply can't trust them! Who knows what they're slipping into those product boxes? Are they tracking us to our homes? Are they remotely activating other electronics in those boxes? Are they listening in on our private conversations?
It almost sounds paranoid to even discuss this, except for the fact that Unilever has publicly announced it is spying on its customers starting these week; tracking them to their homes and remotely activating electronics secretly hidden inside boxes of Omo.
You see, it's not paranoia if they really are tracking you. And if you live in Brazil, they could be tracking you right now.
Predictions for BrazilHere's my prediction of what's going to happen in Brazil this week thanks to this Unilever promotion: There could be alarmingly high numbers of home robberies due to clever thieves posing as Unilever agents. They simply watch people buying Omo at the grocery store, then follow them to their homes, and a few minutes later knock on their door, announcing, "You've won the prize!"
When the homeowner opens their door, they get a gun shoved in their face and are directed to hand over all their cash and jewelry. I'll be curious to watch the Brazilian newspapers to see if anything like this happens during the week. If so, the robbers may be dubbed the "Unilever bandits."
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