A PR stunt of near genius. For the price of not even a hundred grand, the company’s all set for a multitude of photo ops with adorable tykes who’ve been harassed by the bureaucratic state at its very dumbest and most soulless. Their product will probably land on the “buycott” list of every libertarian in the country now, which should raise sales by, uh, a tenth of a percent or so.
Two important lessons for kids here. One: It’ll teach them that if they can get some corporate money behind them, they can flout the law with impunity. Never too early to let them in on that little secret of adult life.
Two: It’ll lead them to believe that lawyers are kind and helpful, which is unconscionable.
Is this a real problem? you ask. It is! The Blaze has a list of incidents. Stand shutdowns are presumably/probably rare but it happens often enough to reliably provide a handful of viral news stories each summer. Take a grade-schooler, add the most heartwarmingly traditional form of child entrepreneurship you can think of, drop in a couple of cops shutting them down because they lack the requisite paperwork to sell lemony sugar water on the street, and you’ve got outrage material that’ll sizzle for days online and on local TV. The difference is, this year, Country Time will be there in front of the cameras to glom onto it. That’s why I call their stunt genius. This wave starts rolling in every June. They had the good sense this time to grab their boards and surf.
Not limitlessly, though. They’ll pay fees and fines but only up to $300 per kid. And while they’re willing to pony up as much as $500,000 to start the “legal-ade” fund, they’ve only budgeted $60,000 so far. There likely won’t be *that* many cases of kids getting shut down — the optics are terrible for local government and, let’s face it, most cops can probably be bought off with some puppy-dog eyes and a free cuppa. There’s a question Country Time hasn’t answered yet. Will it also cover the cost of lemonade bribes for police?
Exit question via a Twitter pal: If they want to put some money towards beating the nanny state, why don’t they try to get exemptions for kiddie lemonade stands added to street-vendor regulations instead of doing it this way? Not enough photo-op material that way?