Election Day's Nine Worst Press Releases
La Fresh Travel Towelettes and other products no reporter wants to hear about today.
Slate and other news organizations are barraged with press releases every day, but there is something particularly absurd about a political magazine being pitched La Fresh Travel Towelettes on the most important Election Day in a generation. Here are a few of the most incongruous press releases we received today.
1. "RenewABILITY Energy Inc. launches program to reduce Domestic Water Heating Costs by 40%"
"I am sending you this e-mail to make you aware of the first pilot-project in Quebec to reduce residential water heating by up to 40% per household (The project is also a first for Canada). I am confident you and Slate.com—Washington DC Bureau will find it of interest."
2. "La Fresh Travel Towelettes Now Used in Jet Set Spa Packages"
"I wanted you to be the first to know that La Fresh Travel Towelettes are now being used in Jet Set Spa packages. These packages are geared toward commercial pilots, flight attendants and frequent travelers. They include unique, customized gifts with the finest chocolates, drinking chocolates, cashmere travel blankets, eye masks, and slippers—and now they will include La Fresh Towelettes."
3. "Bi-Curious Bonobos: What our closest relative can teach us about sexuality"
"Sex in the animal kingdom is never dull. Extending beyond stereotypical partnerships, animals have been seen engaging in a wide array of sexual behaviors, such as masturbation, group sex, homosexuality, sexual cannibalism, as well as any and all conceivable forms of penetration. In conjunction with The Sex Lives of Animals exhibition, the Museum of Sex is presenting an event lecture series featuring key lectures from renowned researchers and scholars."
(OK, we did finish reading that one.)
4. "L'Association des policieres et policies du Quebec"
"With Canada on the verge of a dramatic increase in the number of people reaching retirement over the next two decades, Government organizations and associations will be faced with an unprecedented amount of personal, health and pension information which will need to be managed to ensure retirees are receiving the benefits they earned. In response, companies are beginning to re-think their internal data management solutions to ensure their systems are working as efficiently as possible today and will be able to meet the spike in demand tomorrow. Once such institute is L'Association des policieres et policies du Quebec (APPQ), a Quebec-based organization that supports active and retired members of the Quebec Police Service with legal services and insurance plans."
5. "Glenn Rink, creator of the Smart Sponge is featured as one of 11 extraordinary entrepreneurs in this month's Inc. Magazine for creating radical change in the emerging water economy"
"I would like to propose a meeting with Glenn Rink to discuss the importance and popularity of 'Green Investments' in the current economy for a possible story on the trend of Wall Street Investors investing in Clean and Green Technology. … A year ago, Rink, founder of AbTech Industries and creator of the Smart Sponge, did not have investors offering him 5 million dollars. But that was before stocks crashed and the tide turned to water technology. Now, money is flowing into the Smart Sponge"
6. "Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Wing at Terminal 3 Celebrates First Birthday"
"Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of the world's leading long-haul airlines, today celebrates the one-year anniversary of its Upper Class Wing at Heathrow—the award winning private check-in and security channel at Terminal 3, which allows its Upper Class passengers to move from check-in to the Clubhouse within minutes."
7. "Aperto Chosen by Zing for Multi-State 3.65 GHz and 5.8 GHz WiMax Network"
"Aperto® Networks, builder of the world's most versatile carrier-grade and cost-effective WiMAX Forum Certified™ base stations and subscriber units, announced today that Zing, a next generation wireless service provider based in Detroit, MI, has chosen Aperto's award-winning PacketMAX® solution for a multi-state WiMAX network."
8. "New Keyboard Improves Typing Skills"
"The KeyRight Company of Mountain View, California has introduced a colorful computer keyboard designed to teach correct typing. According to Jerome Whitcroft, KeyRight founder and president, 'This new product, called the Look & Learn Keyboard™ which was invented and designed in Australia, helps users of all ages learn, practice and master typing, almost without trying, every time they use their computer or laptop.' "
David Plotz is the Editor of Slate. He's the author of The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank and Good Book. He appears on Slate's Political Gabfest.