In Coke™ We Trust

This to me is a sign of a diseased culture…

Twentieth Century Fox has hooked up with the Franklin Mint for an ingenious marketing scheme, putting 40,000 quarters based on their upcoming Fantastic Four flick into circulation across the country. The Silver Surfer coins are legal tender

Wired Blogs

See, money is not just an object. It is not some product. It is a symbol of man’s labor and hard work. It represents, literally, the value of achievement.

…and some idiots are slapping ads on the back of it. And some idiot at the government is letting them.

Why is this an issue? Because it compromises the integrity of money as a neutral representation of what it should stand for. “The sweat of your brow, brought to you by Ford!”

Beyond that, does absolutely everygoddamnedthing in American culture have to have advertising on it? Coins remain in circulation for decades. Do we really want “Fantastic Four movie” coins floating around in general circulation twenty years after the movie is forgotten? If this tactic gains traction, what’s to stop us from pulling out a dollar bill five years from now and seeing the smiling visage of Mayor McCheese in place of ol’ George?

(And while we’re on the topic, I believe this marks the first U.S. coin in a looong time [100+ years?] to lack the phrase e pluribus unum.)

Note to 20th Century Fox: This actually makes me not want to see your movie, as a matter of principle. Just sayin’ is all.

hat tip: The Shape of Days

With apologies to Coca-Cola, Ford, and McDonalds, who, despite my illustrative mockery, have not to my knowledge attempted anything so crass as defacing money with marketing messages.

4 Responses to “In Coke™ We Trust”

  1. Steve B Says:

    I think this shows an even more disturbing trend: the government can be bought by Hollywood. More than just loud-mouth actors pontificating from the red carpet, this seems to show an undue influence of a commercial interest in the functioning of government.

    Under the heading of “There’s no free lunch,” what does the government get out of this deal? How much and to whom did 20th Cent. Fox pay to get this deal? Where did that money go? Into which pocket or pile?

    I’d love to see the answer to that one.

  2. Stephen Rider Says:

    Good point, good question, good question, and good question, respectively.

    Apparently it now costs the government more than five cents to make a nickel, so I’m guessing that if enough people complain about this that the government actually responds, their answer will have that little factoid in there somewhere….

  3. RAH Says:

    You are barking up the wrong tree. The Franklin Mint is not the US government mint and currency is not being debased with advertising. Lokk up Franklin Mint – they make collectible items that are not legal currency all the time.

  4. Stephen Rider Says:

    RAH — They certainly do make collectable items.

    But this is legal currency — that’s the point. These aren’t Fantastic Four collector’s plates, these are legal United States currency, for all debts public or private.

    You are correct that the Franklin Mint is not the government. But I’m also quite sure that defacing currency is illegal — which means either the Fm is breaking the law here, or the government specifically allowed it.

    (Are these just stickers slapped on regular quarters?)

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