This just in: high fructose corn syrup is just as bad for you as (if not worse than) regularly processed sugar

Judging by the Sweet Surprise campaign, it seems that the Corn Refiners Association is feeling some pressure to likewise refine their image in regards to the production of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

I guess the assumption behind the commercials is that most people don't actually understand what is so bad about HFCS and by making the anti-HFCS actor in the ad look both stupid and obnoxious, anti-HFCS viewers will be convinced that they, too, are just stupid and obnoxious to hate on HFCS. Then - since nobody wants to feel stupid and obnoxious - we'll educate ourselves at SweetSurprise.com to relieve those pangs of guilt.

I admit it. I visited SweetSurprise.com to find out "the facts." What I found was more or less a reiteration of the main bullet points of their television ads, including the fact that High Fructose Corn Syrup is made from - brace yourselves - corn (just like corn ethanol, a fuel alternative to gasoline that I would not promote as a healthy beverage). Basically, commercials like these scare me sometimes because they aren't necessarily lying (which would be legitimate grounds to reject or pull the ads), but they're definitely sneaky and misleading.

Really though, my problem with these ads specifically is that they try to achieve their goals by insulting the consumer, which is never a good idea. We're okay with light-hearted commercials that make other people look bad, or even commercials that joke about us in an endearing or even complimentary way. But showing this woman as snobby and rude as a result of her concern about HFCS in her kids' drinks? Bad form, CRA.