A few excerpts from letters my company received. Names, in most cases, have been blocked out. These letters date back to the 70s and 80s and show that there were a lot of disturbed and hurting, desparate people then, just as there are now. The spellings, grammar, etc is as written.
1. JINGLES ARE US: a Boston, Mass individual sent along the following ditty to be used by our Kaopectate advertising PEOPLE :
“FOR THE RELIEF OF DIARRHEA
RELEY (sic) ON KAOPECTATE
AND THAT’S NO RUN AROUND.
Comment: Our consumer products advertising people felt that the suggested slogan, while a nice “jog for the public memory,” was not worth trotting over to the agency.
2. CUT OFF: From a fellow in the Harris County Jail, Houston, Texas.
I had been taking Motrin 400 mills six times per day along with B6 and B12.
The City of Houston and the County of Harris in Texas has cutt (sic) off my supply and put me in jail.
Please do what you can for me. You do have an excellent medical product.
P.S. Held for over 2 months already.
Comment: Thanks for the testimonial. We think.
3. SAY WHAT? From gentleman in Washington D.C.
Dear Director of Consumer Relations, Upjohn.
Anything really worthwhile last the life time. Take time to build — blessed are they who have nothing to say and cannot be persuaded to say it. What seems so necessary today may not ever be desirable tomorrow. A little valley of success is enough to keep both of us going. The secret of motivation is HOPE. To know to refuse is to know how to consent. One of seven get a second chance to make a good first impression.
Comment: Say WHAT? And your point would be?
4. The same DC correspondent as in No.3 wrote again, this time directly to me:
Mr. Joe Heywood: Did you like my sayings? I hope you did! Wash DC phone book…5 Heywoods. Who knows! May Be a Distant Relative. Watch your own weight — fluid — and no salt at all. The life you save may be your own. Hospital Doctors Bill — $5-000-00. Not pay all of this. Two wrongs don’t make right.
Comment: Alas, we still had no clue of exactly what he wanted.
5. From “Disgusted” in Vermillion, Ohio:
How can you glorify celebrities who sponsored a Playboy Foundation party? Is your morale really that low?
I wouldn’t advertise it!!!
(to say the least)
Comment: We sponsored a Playboy party and I didn’t get to go? THAT crushes my morale.
6. From a North Carolinan:
Mr. Upjohn Jr.,
Tourist Guide & to the Up John Co as of today.
I left in 1950. But you told me not ever to return to your co. again so at the age of 58 years I send you a picture of one of has high right than your hole co. i’ve enclose is what I have in my family tree.
Comment: Enclosed was a Polaroid print of a portrait of George Washington. We have no idea if this man was a former employee or someone who got booted off a plant tour.
7. From an individual in Waterbury Ct. to our company president:
Mr. William Hubbard.
Have you forgotten who you are? Bill, Bill. Why do you persecute Me?
I AM the One Whom YahWeh has sent to deliver you from your Slavery to SIN against Me and against the people of the World Who wish to be married to God and One with Him in truth and Happiness and FOREVER MORE. Please respond! Amen!
Comment: This was the only letter directly from Yahweh in thirty years.
8. IMMIGRATION ON THE MIND. Bellows Falls, Vermont
Mat 15, 1980: Dear Sir: I am writeing different ones arund the country in regards to Refugees and immigrants comeing to this country and being supported on welfare. Let’s find an island or somewher we can put them and send them some rice and fish. This country is overcrowded already. With inflation and other problems that agrivate people already how much longer will taxpayers put ups wit this nonsense before we have a revolution? Of course one way labor could get back at congress and presidents is through a nationwide strike. If you get people mad enough they will fight. It seems as if presidents and congress want this. We can’t take care of the whole world? The U.S. belongs to the U.S. an just because it is a land of immigrants doesn’t mean this country belongs to everyone in the the world. Big business in this country bette join hands with labor and get this mess straightened out before this country gets torn apart with a revolt and we will be in a boat looking for a place to go. It seems as if it don’t do any good to write congress as they won’t listen. Probably these Cubans and Haitians will be buyin better cars and better food then the working people could afford on their welfare checks. It seems as if congress has gone hog wild over immigrants. 650,000 will be let in this year on top of refugeesa nd illegal immigrants. So hope business people as well as labot gets together and stops this nonsense.
Comment: Sound like 2007-08.
9. The Nation’s Monarch Speaks: From a woman in mid-Michigan:
DEAR PRESIDENT, CHAIRMAN, BOARD, ETC
TO WHOM THIS DOES PERTAIN:
DEAR HONORABLE SIRS:
AMERICA IS GOING THROUGH A WHOLE NEW TRANSITION, WITH A CHRISTTIAN GOVERNMENT, AND ALSO COOPERATION WITH mR. REAGAN IF HE BE SO FORTUNATE TO WIN.
THE REASON I WRITE TO YOU IS: THERE IS VERY MUCH INJUSTICE TO THE COMMON PEOPLE AND THE POOR, BY HIGH PRICES, AND BY MONOPOLIES IN AMERICA.
I, AS THE NATION’S MONARCH, LONGER THAN JAMES E CARTER HAS BEEN PRESIDENT, ASK AND TELL YOUR COMPANY TO PLEASE LOWER PRICES IMMEDIATELY. THE OIL COMPANIES, HAVE MADE A TINY STEP IN THIS DIRECTION, AND THE COMBINATION OF THIS NATION LISTENING TO LEFTISTS WHO SURROUND PRESIDENT CARTER, SHOUTED THIS “INFLATION WHICH WAS A FALSITY, AND THE WHOLE NATION WENT ALONG SWITH IT AND MARKED JUP PRICES. nOW, A GOOD MANY MAY WONDER “WHY AUTOS AREN’T SELLING, WHY EVERYTHING IS FOLDING, (BUSINESSES). IT IS BECAUS THE GENERAL PEOPLE, HAVEN’T ANY MONEY.
ALSO, I AM TRYING TO KEEP YOU, THE COMPANIES FROM SUPPORTING A LARGE WELFARE LINE, BY YOUR TAXES. REASON IT OUT: BUSIENSS & INDUSTRY WOULD BE TOLD “MORE TAXES TO SUPPORT SOCIAL SERVICES!
THE ANSWER IS SO SIMPLE: PLEASE LOWER YOUR PRICES, STARTING NOW. THEN THIS WILL PUT YOU IN A MUCH LOWER CATEGORY, OF TAX-PAYING TO THE FEDS, AS IT IS THE GOVERNMENT Of WASHINGTON D.C.C WHICH HAS TAKENT HE PEOPLE’S MONEY, BY INCOME S BEING TAXED, BY STATE INCOME TAXES, AND HIGH PRICES. NOW WHERE DOES THAT PUT THE POOR, BUT IN THE STREETS. NOBODY ANY MONEY BUT THE LARGE COMPANIES AND CORPORATIONS. DON’T BE DECEIVED, IT WAS A CONSPIRACY TO COLLAPSE THE UNITED STATES, ANW WHO IS BEHINDIT, BUT THOSE LEFTISTS I TOLD YOU OF, WHICH IS A POLITE NAME FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY.
THE END HAS COME: WASHINGTON D.C. IS FALLEN; CARTER NOT A STRONG LEADER TO BEGIN WITH, BUT : YOU DO NOT PUT NEW CLOTH ON AN OLD PATCHY. THIS IS WHY i, WHO HAVE THE POWER AT THE END, HAVE BEGUN THE CHRISTIAN GOVERNMENT CALLED PARLIAMEANT, SINCE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER, 1979.
I,CALLED UJPON BY THE ALMIGHTY TO SAVE THIS NATION. AND i AN AN R.N. I TOOK MY NURSE TRAINING IN YOUR CITY OF KALMAZOO.
GENTLEMEN, IT IS GOOD TO TALK TO YOU, THROUGH THIS MEDIA. PLEAE MARK ALL YOUR PRODUCTS DOWN FY TEN CENTS. LET US SEE HOW IT GOES THE FIRST YEAR.
PERHAPS I WAKE YOU UP, THAT WHIL E YOU FINE PEOPLE WERE BUSY WITH YOUR BUSINESS, THE ENEMY WAS AT WORK WORD WIDE, AND IN AMERICA AS WELL. THEY SUCEEDED THIS FAR, AND YOU CERTAINLY HEARD HOW COUNTLESS FACTORIES ETC ARE FOLDING, BECAUSE THE PEOPLE, ARE OUT OF MONEY! IT IS SO BAD I COULD WRITE A BOOK. WHEN I THINK HOW WE HAVE A MONEY SYSTEM AND THAT DOLLAR REACHED ITS 100% MAR, IN 1940. IN OTHEWORDS, WHAT IS AMERICA WAITING FOR? THEN, AS GOD CHOOSES PEOPLE TO SAVAE HIS WORLD, HIS ANTIONS, THEN PELEASE KNOW GOD GAVE ME AN INTENSE JOB TO DO, SAVE HIS WORLD BY BRINGING IT BACK TO GOD. IT IS HAPPENING, BUT DID YOU EVER HEAR OF A MIRACLE? BECAUSE YOU SHAL L. I HAVENT A NICKEL, YET I AM A COLLEGE GRADUATE, AND MUCH EXPERIENCE IN ECONOMICS, PHSYCHOLOGY, AND MEETING PEOPLE. PLEASE PARY, IT IS THE GREATEST FORCE IN THE WORLD.
PLEASE HONOR THIS MESSAGE. PLEASE REPLY IF YOU WISH. AMERICA IS IN TERMINAL CONDITION; HELP.
SIGNED, THE WOMAN WHO RECIEVED THE CROWN AS MONARCH FEB. 1976
Comment: Really? The title and a crown?
10. From a male vitamin fan in Hollywood, CA:
It is a long time that I want to write to you peoples about the benefit I got from vitamins Unicap and best prove is now at 63 years old i Looks 50 and I feel 35, butg I have to tell you the story of this vitamins.
I started to take them in 1932 here in Los Angles when I was part of the Italian boxing team at the Olympics games and your peoples went around the Olympics village distributing this unicaps vitamins to the all the athlet and to tell you the trouth we had no time to notice any of the efficiences of the vitamins then,but once I got back to Italy I kep on taking it for all this years. Naturaly I came back to the States many times as I turn PROFESSIONAL BOXER and I did “pretty good.” I should say and today, after 43 years that I take Univap vitamins I am ready to fight again.
What I want to say is that your Unicap vitamins are “terrific” and even if I don’t not blame them why I become European champion, they they did help, for sure. This is what I like to let you know and I add that i will keep taking this Unicap Vitamins until I am 100 years old. And I thnk them very, very much.
11: From NYC the envelope labeled, “Truth in Advertising,” where words apparently don’t get minced.
Do you think those commercials wtih a Mexican family hawking Kaopectate in America are funny???? They don’t need it here and do you know why we need it when we go to Mexico? Because they little pieces of SHIT floating around in their water — we don’t have polluted water that gives us dysentary in this country. So if you think you’re being clever, you can stick it up your own ass, you pandering racist bastards.
12. From a Woman in Minnesota, Jan. 28, 1980:
Dear Sir: Have you ever thought of yourself and Adolph Hitler in the same breath?
Comment: No ma’am not in the same breath.
13. From a group of somewhat offended women in Texas:
June 12, 1987
The Upjohn Company
Dear Whores & Whoremasters:
My friends (young women under 30) are tunred off by that Haltram commercial whereby no-class CUNT uses the ugly, slimy and uncalled for word, PERIOD. Surveys and polls have shown that most women are opposed to personal product commercials as it is. My friends and I will not use a product in a commercial which uses such degrading and laughable language.
The moral people in this Nation are fed up wtih you money-hungry fuckers pushing filth and things that should be personal down eveeryones throats. Talk about your ugly COCKS and erections and ejaculations. Your ads are causng discrimination against women. Only whores talk about their slits leaking.
If that CUNT is not removed, we will not by other products you manufactre like Kaopectate…and we will spread the word, you bastards! Your kind must learn to be accountable to the people.
Signed, Tricia and Friends
Comment: Dear Tricia and Friends: We don’t want you to use the product in a commercial; we want you to use it at home or in the gutter, where you already seem to be.
14. From a woman employed by a magic show:
May 27, 1987
the Upjohn Company
Hello, as an actress and magician assistant it is very important I’m not bothered By menstrual cramps. Please believe me that I used to be in terrible pain for several hours and could not work, lay or anything during that time.
Since I discovered Haltran I have told everyone. I’d be willingt to make a commercial and Promote this Product. This is the best ovver the counter aid in cramps. If taken as directions indicate, cramps don’t happen.
I worked 28 days each month performing very physical illusion shows. I have to feel good or else I don’t look good.
As they say in show business, “the show must go on“
I think if you would make t.v. commercials with real users of your Product your company would have better results.
Thanks you, XX of XX Magic Shows (inludes photos)
Comment: Dear XX, could you write to Tricia and friends in our behalf. If not, could you make her disappear?
15. From a woman in the local area:
Feb. 13, 1978
Dear Mr. UpJohn,
I have recently become more sensitive to my health and have sworn off electricity and carsz. So, I have what I call a lot of “junk” tpo get rid of. I don not want to sell the car of electrical appliances to anyone who would use them because that would not help anyone. So I thought, who in town has more money than they know what to do with, and want to just give it away, and I thought of you,. The VW, vacuum, toaster, iron metronome, blender, lamp, TV radio I “value” at about $1750. Are you interested in hauling them away? Your pay would some conversation. Incidentally I don’t believe in medicine . It’s all poison and against life if you will remember reading about carbons in high school chemistry.
16. From a touch-healer in Ontario:
Dear Sir /
I recently read an article regarding your product “Minoxidil” and fell I must pass on some knowledge regarding a fact I have learned in the course of my work.
I am a very well-known (never-need-to-advertise) touch-healer, with “direct voice” — clairaudience. Often, when treating patients for nervous problems, I am told to order them to drink Bingano Bianco “to restore the jelly in the body.” (All spirits, liqers & fortified wines were orginally medicines.) When I told a doctor he must do this for 10 days, twice a day before main meals — at ehi h he could immediately eat or drink anything after I’ve cured — knitted– his very bad ulcer (stomach), to restore the jelly, whatever that means, he said, “Good God! Of Course! It is made with wormwood — & that’s exactly what we’d use to restore the mucus membrane!”
Anyway, he did it & after 10 days was able to have an X-ray, & as usual, there was no trace of the ulcer. (It works once — takes me about an hour to knit an ulcer: Much less if not a really bad one — but the C.B. gradually makes the memrance (or jelly sheath on nerves) must stronger.)
What I wanted to tell you is that, in every case, even elderly people, their hair has begun to grow, if they keep drinking it daily; black hair coming up between white, ec. I’ve long wanted to pass this on — the rejuvenating of hair follicles — but never heard of anyone seriously working on the problem.
XX of xx, Ontario
Comment: Is the jelly you speak of any good with peanut butter?
17. Baldness Notions From “Used to Reside in Houston”:
February 14, 1985
Dear Sirs: This letter is prompted by an article of AP staff writer Harry F. Rosenthal on the subject of baldness.
The affliction was visited upon me early. By age twenty three I alreadey was nearly completely bald. I’m sure the malady is unwelcome at any age but must be particularly traumatic to the young. I decided there had to be some logical reason why some were stricken while others were spared. Upon checking scalps of fellows with arying appearances from weakening growths to luxuriant locks it became obvious to me that the answer was thickness of tissue. Now tha the hormone therapy had been advanced the possibility of a satisfactory solution seems to be nearing.
I realize there is nothing about the tightening of the scalp discovery part that was not suspected from many years before my time. But being afflicted at young age I figured I had nothing to lose by trying to develop a stronger scalp. Of course the ideal answer to that regimen is to being the needed exercises at that age, but in any case prevention would be achieved. Many years ago I read an article where someone guaranteed that if boy would give five minutes proper care to his scalp the chance of baldness would be averted. Now I concede that I believe h knew whereof he wrote.
I do not intend to tell my story in this short account. I did engage in a mild program of massage and stimulation. I can’t even claim that I had the courage of my convictions. However, over long periods of time I noticed there had been a “turning around” of the deterioration, and signs of recovery were showing up. After a matter of seveal decades I am gratified with the result. Most baldness cand be averted and even cured.
I’m sure some of these observations area not news to you. The number one answer to the undesirable fate is to have selected the proper ancestors. Consider the case of the American Indians. The hormone therapy leads me to believe that they attained that condition of seeming immiunity through a system of selective breeding many generations ago. It might be deduced that they bred themselves out of male hormoness so effectively that they have truly become the “vanishing American.” Consider the lack of bearsw and body hair. Admittedly we have the paradox of male hormones being the hair producers while those with excessive male hormones seem to be most victimized by baldness. Probably the answer to that is that such a hormone balance causes a lack of tissue which is a feminine characteristic. A quote of mine — “show me a man with a bald noggin’ and I’ll show you a man with hair on his chest.” Probably there are exceptions.
The second possible dodge from becoming bald is castration before puberty. Nix on that. That leaves a program of prevention mentioned earlier. While recovery has been somewhat acheived in my case, the time involved has been so great that it hardly could be considered satisfactory. I can explain why it has been so maddeningly slow, and as offer some ideas for a possible speeded up proc3ess. I don not seek eithe fame or forturne. I am retireda nd if my story cane be of benefit I woul dgaldly present my findings to a proper panel. I do suggest that the subject has wrongly been placed in the hands of dermatologists, and thatr while they play an important role in any solution the problem extends beyond their field.
Once when I resided in Houston I contacted a research foundation for a possible grant. A very polite lady informed me by phone that one could live with baldness. I agreed but thought about telling her she should try it sometime.
A possible desired side effect is some indication ofa certain degree of perpetual face lift probably as a resultg of stretching and lifting exercise.
I recognize that if an unknown like myself were to prescribe a program of prevention, it would recieve little respect. The source mist be some such as yours. Sincerely, Used to Reside in Houston.
Comment: Aha, we see what your’e getting at…I think….
18. From Minneapolis. Man wrote to complain about Upjohn sponsorship of the Miss USA Pageant. His point of contention involved host Bob Barker who took a shot at fur users. Mr Glenn returned our letter with the following typewritten comment on the bottom:
YOu people missed the whole point of my letter. If I was to buy ANYTHING more of any of your products, than a small part of the profits from that item would be used to cut my own throat. I have no problem with your company sponsoring the pageant itself, ONLY if Mr bob barker is the emmcee. This is why your products area not going to be allowed in this home.
Comment: Okay, now we get it. How’s the trapping seasons goin,’ eh? Would that home you mention be Shady Rest?
19. Point Made Surgically Clear: From Mrs. in Morris, ILL:
According to God’s word (The Bible) in Psalms 139:15 God knew and does known when each child lis conceived and from conception that child is a living soul. It’s a person from conception forward. Standing from this point of view abortion is murder no matter how you slice it!!!
Comment: There seems to be a certain edge in your letter.
20.Found the Light?
To the recipient; Enclosed you will find a Bible tract. Please so not destroy it. After you read it, please pass it on to your fellow workers. Someone who works at your establishment has very great need for the message contained in the tract. Thank you, May God Bless You. xxx serial number, Florida State prison,Death Row, Cell No. x-x-x-x.
Comment: Takes one to know one?
21. Man in Erie, PA. does not like Kaopectate ads:
Dear Mr. Parfet:
I’m getting fed up with your current scatological advertising campagin for KAOPECTATE. Showing foreigners on TV breathing sighs of relief they could get thier hands on some KAOPECTATE after having eaten at American fast food restaurants is neither funny nore appropriate.
Everybody knows what KAOPECTATE is, and no more need be said at least not on TV and at least not in any cutesy manner of your currrent campaign. Better to come out straight and sayd “KAOPECTATE stops diarrhea” if you’re going to say anything at all.
I hope soon to be able to turn on my TV and not see thos Italians smiling happily because they took Kaopectate the night before. Yours truly, in Erie, PA.
Comment: Dissa no shit, gambino?”
22. Advertising Flaws: From Man in Nashville, TN
To Whom It May Concern:
I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read my letter and answer a question which has been on my mind.
I have viewed numerous commercials over the last few years,a nd use many of your products; however, during this time, I have made an observation that upsets me very much. I have not seen any handicapped individuals employed for your commercials. Is there some reason that a handicapped person cannot adequtely represent your products? I have had seven hip surgeries, three back surgeries, and I have also had two heart attacks. All of this has left me physically unable to peform factory work, as well as office work. however, for less than you pay actors, actresses, children or attractive men and women without physical impairments a handicapped person such as myself would be willing to advertise your products.
Once again, I thank you for your time and I will be awaiting your answer soon. Sincerely, X of Nashville TN
Comment: Dear X. Some people employed by Upjohn are not beautiful. To wit, I enclose a photo of myself.
23. Gotta Vent Gent (Sorry!). From an individual in Toledo, OH:
Dec. 17, 1980
I “Feel bad,”: about the following things: Thanks very much, for reading. Sorry to take it out on YOU:
1) Very bored on job. Type all day. Hours are long — from early morning until late afternoon. I know, I’m lucky to have a job, and complain.
2) -My pay is rising slower, than inflattion. With Republicans in the Legislature — May rise even slower.
3) –Thre are many lay-offs, in my office. This, ISN”T TOO GOOD!!!
4) –My Mom, is being required to take many course — To keep the same job she had had, for 13 years! Not too good!! Sorry, again, to take this all out on YOU.
5) —Editors, adovcate, laying off public wsorkers. Editors wouldn’t like it — If they were laid off!!!
6) ,-I, as a public worker, DON”T have, the right, to sgtrike. Private workers, DO. This, is UNFAIR!
7) -I as a public workers. DON’T have, the right, to participate inpolitical activity. This is very UNDEMONCRATIC!!
8) Food, is plowed under, and dumped into the ocean – In order to force up food prices.
9) –Gas, is rising, again. Hard, for most people!!!
10) Politicians, tell everyone, to “Travel less’. Yewt, they themselves, get FREE TRIPS!
11) “The average person,” has to pay, to swrite something — Stamps, etc. “Big people,” such as politicians, and editors, DON”T,have to pay to write!!!
12)-“Big.business,” spend much money, on “political committess,”-to Put in the guy who is For the BIG guy”! A) We as consumeras, have to pay, for this. B) The recent elections, whicuh look like Public opinion” Are really Big money, talking !!!!
12) Advertisements, in the press, help0 cause inflation — By creating more demand for the products advertised, and thus bidding them up. Then, the press, balmes “Labor and “Gov’t spending,” for inflation. Is ONE_SIDED! Think, of that, whenever I see an Ad-ASSOCIATE!!!
13) TV, talks, about “Public speaking:. Yet, the public has to spend much money, on TV peoples VERY HIGH salaraies; fee clothes for many of them; free trips for many of them, etc.etc.!
14) — Covers, of national magazines, play down, the following: The need for National Health Care: the unemployed; over-crowded schools; poor conditions in jailsa nd mental hospitals; and other problems.
Thanks very, very much for reading this letter. Sorry to take it out on YOU. Sorry to complain so much. Sorry to make leter, anonymous.
Respectfully Yours, SDM of Toledo Ohio
Comment: We’re sorry too. Seriously, you actually, get paid, to, type all, day? You?
24. Outlicensing Inquiry? From The Tioga Hotel, in Merced, California
November 4, 1983
My Dear Sir:
Recall me? That XX (From Noah in The Bible?)
I came up with 20 discoveries by now You gave up on them I understand. Can you work on any of them?
I’m rich, by now. Can I help you?
Can we have Shangri-la? I’m getting old. ARe you? Are there other drug companies who would help, too?
Please let me hear from you. XXX of The Tioga Hotel, Merced
Comment: Yes, we’re getting old too.