Yes, there actually is an annual “Wackiest Warning Label” contest, no kidding. This year’s entries include:
• An electric razor that warns “never use while sleeping” (comment: I’ve heard of sleep walking, but sleep shaving?! Talk about light sleepers . . .)
• A decorative seven-inch globe that warns: “Globe should not be referred to for navigation” (comment: I’m hooking this baby onto my dash and tossing my GPS!)
• A Neck Pillow made specifically for children that warns: “Keep product away from infants and children.” (comment: Huh?!)
• An electric skillet that warns: “Caution: griddle surface may be hot during and after cooking” (comment: Duh!)
The winner? We don’t know yet.
The guy who started this contest 15 years ago did so, according to him, “to reveal the extraordinary lengths to which manufacturers who sell products in the United States must go to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits – and to start a national conversation about the need for reform”.
Although I could not disagree with his reasoning more, I do enjoy a good laugh, and some of the warnings you see on products seem designed for nothing else. I remember a few years ago seeing a car sun shield that warned, “remove before driving”. I have tried to re-create it in the photo above.
Yes, manufacturers can go too far, ridiculously far, in attempting to avoid liability by providing inane over-the-top warnings. BUT, the fact remains that 99% of all warnings, which New York consumer protection lawyers like yours truly have forced manufacturers to provide, save lives and prevent injury. So go ahead, laugh (and I’ll laugh with you), but keep those warnings coming guys!