5. Unilever's Diet Dilemma
The Anglo-Dutch consumer products giant said Sunday it is recalling 10 million cans of Slim-Fast in the U.S. and Canada because of a possible bacterial contamination that can cause drinkers to vomit. The company, which did not put a cost on the recall, stressed that the problem is specific to its canned products as opposed to those in powder or snack-bar form.
(UL) Unilever said the problem was discovered and the recall ordered after the company conducted a quality test on the canned product. Last Thursday, Unilever's U.S. office said the recall is "due to the possibility of contamination with Bacillus cereus, a micro-organism, which may cause diarrhea and possibly nausea and/or vomiting."
Eureka! It works! After reading that sentence, we've completely lost our appetite.
(UL) A Unilever spokeswoman said shipments of the product will resume after the problem has been corrected. In the meantime, weight conscious consumers may want to temporarily try something different for lunch rather than downing a can of Slim-Fast.
Lest they risk losing their lunch entirely.
(UL) Dumb-o-meter score: 75 -- No one needs to slim down this fast.
4. Tiger Loses His Focus
A Gatorade spokesperson said the decision was not linked to the recent controversy surrounding Woods. The company said the move was a result of a change in strategy that was in the works many weeks ago.
"We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010," Gatorade told CNBC. "We hope to share more about our 2010 plans soon."
Dumb-o-meter score: 80 -- Tiger, Tiger, burning bright red.
3. Ratings Agencies Resurgence
Wow! Talk about a 180-degree turnaround. Barely a year ago, these guys were testifying in front of Congress for giving triple-A ratings to toxic mortgage bonds. Now they're sticking it to Uncle Sam himself.
Not to be outdone, S&P said adios to Spain's financial standing on Wednesday, when it revised its outlook on the country's debt to negative from stable. And Fitch gave Greece the boot Tuesday, downgrading the long-term issuer default ratings of the country's four largest commercial banks.
Nevertheless, we still can't get over the fact that most of these painful steps would not have been necessary had these three blind mice run a little faster -- and straighter -- in the first place.
Dumb-o-meter score: 85 -- Now you downgrade Dubai's debt? Thanks for nothing guys!
2. Dominos Refuses Delivery to Shore
The pizza chain reportedly informed TMZ that after learning what the show was about, they decided that the partnership was not in their best interest. UNICO, an Italian-American advocacy organization, told TMZ last Friday that the show was offensive to Italian Americans.
Too bad Dominos didn't understand it a bit sooner.
Dumb-o-meter score: 90 -- At least Tiger Woods is not alone in scaring sponsors away.
1. Pay Czar Blinks
Yep, Feinberg folded.
The government, in case you've forgotten, rescued the company with a package valued at more than $180 billion. Having a controlling stake in AIG, however, clearly doesn't guarantee government control.
In the end, Benmosche came back, but his charges certainly got the hint that the squeaky wheel gets the green.