History Behind The Making Of These 9 Brands That We Love Today Can Only Be Called Shady
Modern brands are all about marketing, think about it. There was a time when one gave a crap about how you perceived their image as long as you bought it. With the need to increase brand identity, recall and goodwill brands have over the years resorted to having a squeaky-clean image.
Look anywhere as you step out of your house or even inside, you will be bombarded with advertisements. They aren’t necessarily telling you to buy things always. Sometimes, it is these advertisements that is dictating your opinion about a particular brand.
While the fanciest ads of some of the biggest brands in the world are all doing things right, an era ago, they were up to some really shady things.
Histories behind the making of these brands will shock you.
#1. Adidas and Puma
Adidas was owned by Adi Dassler and PUMA was owned by his brother Rudi Dassler. Their sibling rivalry was well-known. But what comes as more shocking is that both were active members of the Nazi party in the 1940s, Adi Dassler more so. Because of the Nazi Party’s belief in Total War Economy – meaning the German industries would produce all that is needed to fight the enemies – the Dassler brothers ended up aiding the manufacture of Panzerschreck, a German bazooka.
There have been rumors that their close association with Hitler and Nazi was responsible for their business staying afloat.
The top drug manufacturer Bayer’s motto ‘science for a better life’ went for a toss when they chose to make profits out of misery in the most inhuman manner possible. During the mid-1980s, Bayer sold millions of blood-clotting medicine for hemophiliacs that had a very high risk of transmitting HIV in the US. Once it was discovered that this drug was increasing the HIV risk, they shipped off these goods and continued selling them to Asia and Latin America instead of ceasing the sale and production.
Bayer then proceeded to manufacture the safer version of the same drug and marketed it to the US market all the while continuing to sell the old formulation to the underdeveloped countries. This gross inhuman treatment was considered the worst disaster in medical history.
Nestle is the world’s largest foodstuff company. It owns part of another bigger brand – Loreal – and has a worldwide presence. But it hasn’t always had the best reputation. Early in the 90s Nestle campaigned hard that their baby formula was better than mother’s milk. This was bad enough, but they made it worse by targeting underdeveloped countries where most mothers were uneducated to know the difference.
They have also been accused of child labor practices for running their business.
Remember Holocaust? Yep, Hitler was not the only one to blame, Siemens had a hand in it too. During the terrible time in collective human history, Siemens manufactured hydrogen cyanide gas chambers that helped in the genocide. They did not just stop there, they also built the train system Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Railways). The railways were responsible for transporting Jewish people to the concentration camp.
Like most multinationals, H&M exploited cheap labor. Their USP still remains fast moving fashion at reasonable prices. Only the clothes that they sell have a bad history of awful labor practices. They are apparently the largest single buyers of Bangladeshi garments. As per their sustainability report, they have 340 suppliers in the Far East, 242 in South Asia compared to 203 in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
They have been known to exploit underaged children for production.
#6. Hugo Boss
There was a time when Hugo Boss’s factory was going under. However, he made an agreement with the creditors and started again. The brand that is today known for premium clothing and accessories exploited its Nazi ties. Hugo Boss became a member of Nazi party, German Labour Front in 1936, the Reich Air Protection Association in 1939. Soon he started making considerable profits.
Oh and Hugo Boss also made uniforms for Hitler’s troops.
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the creator of the cornflakes that is a part of our breakfast did not really care about your healthy breakfast habits. In fact, the Kelloggs has nothing to do with your nutrition. Kellogg wanted to discourage young people from masturbating and enjoying sexual intercourse and/or attraction.
His obsession with abstinence was so much that he advocated circumcision in young boys and applying phenol to a young woman’s clitoris.
Wondering how this all relates to the harmless cornflakes? Well, he thought the breakfast cereal would be boring enough not to excite anyone. He thought right; the dude was pretty delusional.
Yes, Coca-cola is bad for you. However, it is not as bad as it would have been when it was invented. Coca-cola was invented as a medicine. John Pemberton was a huge fan of morphine. After his stint with the Civil War in the 1880s, he made it his mission to make a magic medicine that would cure it all. He created Pemberton’s French Coca Wine. It was supposed to refresh you, quench your thirst and also arouse you.
The ingredients included naturally occurring cocaine from the coca leaves. This natural cocaine lasted longer. The drink was later renamed to Coca-Cola and was sold at local soda fountains.
#9. Coco Chanel
Before you share those fancy motivational quotes by Coco Chanel, know that she was possibly a horrible person. She was a Nazi spy and sympathizer. She used her personal relationships to launch her business. Her spy codename was Westminster. She was also anti-semitic and hated Jews.
She was never prosecuted because she claimed Churchill freed her. Had he not, her connections would expose the elite members of the society and the Royal family.
When the general Parisienne public was starving on the streets, she enjoyed the luxuries of the Ritz, because why starve when your lover can pay.
Shocked yet? I am definitely changing my buying preferences from here on. These won’t be on my list.
Feature Image: Source
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