This can’t be good news for the Barcalounger

Img_2112-500x497Doctors and fitness experts have long espoused the benefits of an active lifestyle. But, as the statistics bear out, Americans have not only turned a deaf ear to the warnings, the number of obese, sedentary slugs has only grown.

Now comes a new study that shows more than 90,000 new cancer cases a year may be due to physical inactivity and prolonged periods of sitting. The American Institute for Cancer Research cites some 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 of colon cancer. That's enough people to fill the Rose Bowl!

The anti-sedentary news can't be good news for marketers who enable such inactivity. How should Barcalounger, for example, respond? Do they take the route of Big Tobacco and deny, deny, deny?

     – “The AICR study adds nothing new to the dialogue. We remain committed to providing the softest, most comfortable lounging experience possible for inert Americans.”

Or, do they go on the offensive and launch an attack ad against fitness and wellness?

     – “Who needs activity? Even triathletes die sooner or later. Kick back and ease your way through a shortened lifespan with our new, extra padded Barcalounger Deluxe (which comes equipped with fold-away trays, a built-in fridge AND airtight storage areas for those double cheeseburgers and fries you want to keep super fresh for the second half kick-off!).”

I've often wondered how I'd handle an offer to represent a product that either causes illness (i.e. tobacco) or enables obesity and inactivity (i.e. lounge chairs). The latter is obviously a no-brainer since it can be positioned as a lifestyle accessory for the active or inactive consumer.

But, representing Big Tobacco or the National Rifle Association would present a huge ethical problem for this blogger. I simply don't buy into the logic of PR firms who say they represent these merchants of death because “…every business deserves a right to tell its side of the story.” And, I also don't buy into the NRA's rant about Second Amendment rights and their mantra that 'Guns don't kill people. People kill people.' Yeah, sure. And, a Big Mac with cheese doesn't harden the arteries either. That's caused by an individual's DNA. Not.

In any event, I'll be interested in reading how, if at all, the enablers respond to the new statistics about the dangers of a sedentary life and sitting for a prolonged period of time. As for me, I've never been able to sit still, so the whole thing is a non-issue. As a matter of fact, I think I'll head to the gym right now.

5 thoughts on “This can’t be good news for the Barcalounger

  1. You have yourself a deal PEngelinNYC. Maybe we’ll also invite Isaac assuming he can extract himself from his medical instrument-laden Barcalounger.

  2. When I first started out as a trade magazine editor, the pay was awful — unless you were willing to work for one of the tobacco industry trades! I never could bring myself to do it but others certainly did.
    Repman, it has been possible to bike through the Lincoln Tunnel in the past. For several years my bicycle club, the 5BBC ( was able to work with the Port Authority to shut down the Lincoln Tunnel on a Sunday morning in July to ride from Manhattan to NJ. We’re trying again for 2012.
    If we’re successful, I’ll invite you to join us. Afterward, I’ll treat you to a smoke and an artery-clogging breakfast at the Royal Cliffs diner.

  3. Coming from the poster boy of insanity, I take your comment as a compliment, I-man. Let me respond to your last rant first. Were it possible to bike or run through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnels, I would. Now, let’s address the Barcalounger rant. The entire blog was tongue-in-cheek. It’s called humor, Isaac. It’s also called providing readers with a unique POV. Obviously, recognizing the difference between satire and factual reporting isn’t a job requirement of medical supply executives. Now, please go back to sleep on your Barcalounger (equipped, no doubt, with syringes and medical gloves).

  4. rep-
    i think the thin air from the mountain tops or old age is beginning to get to you. this post is so absurd, it reminded me of the “business models” of the dot coms we used to have.
    why in the world does lazy boy have to respond to this stat? relaxing on a comy chair and being active are mutually exclusive events. i can do a 2 hour workout in the morning and then enjoy my down time lounging on the couch at night. as a matter of fact, you just gave me an idea! these product makers should use this stat to seel MORE products. “now that you are more active to stay healthy, you also need to relax and be more comfortable at home so buy one of these”.
    but there is more to it. you are an avid reader- but maybe you shouldnt be. after all, most of us arent “active” while we read! so why waste that time!
    and one more- you bitch and complain about NJ Transit but why bother taking it? try walking to work or ride a bike!
    come on rep- some of your posts are off the wall at times but this one takes the cake…