General Mills recently tucked a CD-ROM containing the Bible into 12 million cereal boxes and then had to issue profuse apologies for having done so as it withdrew the offensive inclusions. GM pleaded not guilty: “we didn’t know it was loaded” with scriptures, they said. “A flat-out lie,” says the CD-ROM packager, who knows, as we do, that the cereal-buying public became a late-test market.
It included enough customers who protested. And when they did, GM rushed to declare, “It is the company’s policy not to advance any particular set of religious beliefs.”
General Motors, General Foods and General Electric and all of the other Generals would have done the same kind of withdrawing and apologizing. They know what a pluralistic society and a public are, and they know what a bottom line means.