|arts & leisure|
Sanyo on the Cutting Edge?
By Declan McCullagh
March 19, 1999
Here's some bad news: Sanyo's plastic cutting board may no longer be ready for Y2K. The compliance status of its bread warmer is now, sadly, uncertain.
In the last week or so, the company yanked bright yellow "This product is Y2K compliant" logos that had graced the web pages of those bread accessories.
"We removed the labels from the BW-1 bread warmer and the BS-1 bread slicer," Sanyo spokesman Michael Harris told us. "Because with respect to those products Y2K is not applicable, the label proved to be distracting as well as superfluous."
The real reason: It was the media that found those cheery yellow labels particularly distracting.
mccullagh.org/y2kculture first reported details on February 23. "Somehow we don't think that a product designed 'for easy cutting of fresh bread, bagels, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. into straight slices' is going to be giving up the ghost come New Year's Eve," we wrote.
A week later, the Wall Street Journal joined in, poking fun at Sanyo's desire to reassure the public that a plastic cutting board with no moving parts is free from Y2K bugs.
Then came The Times of London. "News reaches me that Sanyo, the giant Japanese electronics group, has developed a revolutionary new bread-cutting board called 'Bread plus.' This fine product is made from ABS plastic (whatever that is) and has cunningly designed sides to hold a loaf of bread in place while you cut it. On its product website, Sanyo points out that the board is 'Y2K compliant.' So, for that matter, is my old bread board, but I suppose it is not at the cutting edge of technology," Dominic Walsh wrote.
The San Francisco Chronicle and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also found something witty to say. So, Sanyo tells us, did Jay Leno.
"The humor of the situation wasn't lost on us either," said Harris, who was not laughing at the time.
"It is funny and there are a lot of products that are out of the category like these. It's definitely worth a chuckle and we have a sense of humor about it as well," he said. "We had initially made the decision to blanket the web sites with this tag so that concerns could be assuaged."
"From a number of accounts including your article it may seem that our efforts were a bit overzealous, but our effort was to address consumer concerns," said Harris, who runs the Harris Public Relations agency based in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Copyright 1999-2002. All rights reserved.