This Product Endorsed By Lewis & Clark

Fake News written by Martha Throebeck on Thursday, September 11, 2003

from the when-marketers-run-amok dept.

ST. LOUIS -- Eric Lewis and Doug Clark have discovered the American Dream: raking in huges sums of money without lifting a finger. They've capitalized on the recent wave of Lewis & Clark mania by signing endorsement deals with hundreds of companies. Of course, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Clark have absolutely nothing to do with the famous Corps of Discovery expedition, but that hasn't stopped them from lending their names to thousands of products.

Last week, Fauxryzon Wireless launched an advertising campaign boasting that they were "The Official Wireless Carrier Of Lewis & Clark". Yes, Eric Lewis and Doug Clark both exclusively subscribe to Fauxryzon and they were quite happy to endorse the company's products... in exchange for the right amount of money, of course.

Eric and Doug were quick to deflect criticism that their endorsement was shady and was meant to confuse potential customers. "We only use Fauxryzon products," Doug said. "Therefore, Fauxryzon is indeed our official wireless carrier. What's the problem? Our names are Lewis and Clark and we have endorsed their product. Any confusion with another Lewis and Clark is purely coincidental."

Some critics pointed out, however, that one recent Fauxryzon advertisement showed a scene of two men in a keelboat paddling up a river that looked suspiciously like the Missouri in 1804. A Fauxryzon spokesperson said, "Oh, please. It's obvious that the ad actually shows two men in a johnboat on an Ozark river talking on a cellphone in 2003. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Lewis & Clark expedition. The fact that the two men are dressed in 1804 clothing is purely coincidental."

The modern-day Lewis and Clark have also endorsed such products as extra-soft toilet paper, home pregnancy test kits (actually endorsed by their wives, Martha Lewis and Shelly Clark), gourmet microwaveable pizzas, and genuine sweatshop-produced tennis shoes.

"This is clearly a sham," explained a national expert on this sort of thing. "Right now, Corps of Discovery stuff is everywhere. It's on the Missouri state quarter, it's on The History Channel every other night, and it's even being celebrated at every place where Lewis and/or Clark possibly went to the bathroom. We're already being inundated with too much authentic Lewis and Clark stuff, and now a bunch of large corporations step in and start spewing fake Lewis and Clark promotions. It's ridiculous."

Acne Corporation, makers of Lewis and Clark's Authentic Gourmet Microwaveable Pizza Kits, defended the company's marketing campaign. "At no time has this company ever tried to call our product Meriwether Lewis and William Clark's Gourmet Pizza. We're not talking about them; it's all about two upstanding gentlemen named Lewis and Clark living in downtown St. Louis that have been kind enough to endorse our fine product. What's so bad about that?"

Elmer Lewis, a local boob who keeps boasting to everybody that he's a distant relation to Meriwether Lewis, but hasn't actually been able to find any genealogical proof, was unavailable for comment at press time.