Paqui responds to ‘One Chip Challenge’ concerns, Spotify’s fight with Apple and more

Plus: CEOs need to say more about issues around them, survey says.

Bags of Paqui's chips are shown here.

Image from Amplify Snack Brands' website.

This week, police in Dunwoody, Georgia, have issued a warning after paramedics were called to a high school to treat a student who attempted to participate Paqui’s “One Chip Challenge,” where participants eat a super-spicy snack flavored with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers.

The “high voltage” chip, which comes individually wrapped in a coffin-shaped box, turns participants’ tongues blue, according to information on the Paqui website.

“Eat the entire chip. Wait as long as possible before drinking or eating anything,” the website urges. “Post your reaction on social media with #onechipchallenge and mention @paquichips.”

“The challenge can cause serious side effects including severe coughing, asthma, serious burning of the eyes and mouth and vomiting” and “more serious health problems, esophageal damage, chest pain, heart palpitations and even heart attacks,” the warning from Georgia police read.

Paqui’s offers its own warning on its website to those who take the challenge.

“Do not eat if you are sensitive to spicy foods, allergic to peppers, nightshades, or Capsaicin, or are pregnant or have any medical conditions. Keep out of reach of children,” the warning reads. “After touching the chip, wash your hands with soap and do not touch your eyes or other sensitive areas. Seek medical assistance should you experience difficulty breathing, fainting, or extended nausea.”

A representative for Paqui told a TODAY reporter that the challenge “can be fun for those who understand what they are taking on,” and the brand is hopeful those who attempt it do not have a negative experience.

“We take safety very seriously and have worked hard to ensure our products are properly and clearly labeled with allergen and safety information,” the brand said in a written statement. “It is our intent that consumers take on this challenge with a full understanding of what it is and if it is appropriate for them.”

Why it matters: Paqui is smartly approaching the issue from a legal perspective by issuing a warning on its website. It’s a good reminder for communicators to work closely with their brand’s legal department from the start of campaigns on sensitive issues. Being proactive here helps avoid costly legal issues later.

Spotify criticizes Apple over app store fee

Spotify is taking its grievances with Apple public over a dispute that centers on the 30% fee Apple charges for in-app digital services transactions on its app store.

“We are talking about this because it is reflective of Apple’s anti-competitive practices across the board,” Harry Clarke, associate general counsel and Spotify’s lead competition lawyer, told CNN in an interview Tuesday.

“We think it is critical that users, policymakers, and competition authorities really understand what is happening,” Clarke said. “Because we have found that once they do understand what is happening, there is almost unanimous agreement that it is unfair.”

Apple referred CNN to a general statement about the dispute. It said that it had “no issue with reader apps adding audiobook content” but that Spotify’s workaround — its in-app purchase method — broke its rules.

Why it matters: Spotify is using PR to combat Apple’s business practices, hoping consumers will take up its cause for them. It draws attention to the issue, but time will tell if Spotify sways public opinion and convince its users to demand that Apple act on the matter.

CEOs need to be more vocal about what’s happening in society, survey says

A new survey indicates that corporate leaders should have a voice in social issues and employee wellbeing.

The Morning Consult report indicated that 73% of Americans believe CEOs should be willing to have a voice in social issues.

“There is a rising expectation for corporate leaders to have a voice on issues that go beyond the everyday business of their companies,” the report read. “Chief among the issues that people want CEOs to prioritize and speak out on are those related to employee wellbeing. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic concerns and heightened attention to workplace safety and discrimination are just some of the issues that have prompted this urgency.”

Apple referred CNN to a general statement about the dispute. It said that it had “no issue with reader apps adding audiobook content” but that Spotify’s workaround — its in-app purchase method — broke its rules.

Why it matters: The era of careful neutrality is over. Both employees and consumers are demanding a new more activist breed of CEO — and it’s up to communications pros to help guide them forward in a way that doesn’t compromise the overall business.

Newman’s Own offers companies Paul Newman’s imagery —with a catch

Newman’s Own foundation will allow brands to use the late actor Paul Newman’s likeness and image free of royalty charges on their products and marketing if the companies give 100% of the profits to groups that support children.

The “Newman’s Deal” campaign marks the 40th anniversary of the non-profit organization.

Newman was best known for his roles in “The Hustler,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Companies can apply for the campaign at Applications are being accepted through Nov. 24 and the approved brands will be notified by Jan. 31, 2023.

“For 40 years, Paul Newman’s face has been a symbol of radically good philanthropy,” Nicole Malcolm-Manyara, CMO of Newman’s Own, Inc., said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to offer more of Paul Newman through ‘Newman’s Deal’ and we encourage more brands to give it all away… just as Paul did when he decided to emblazon his face on a bottle of salad dressing.

Why it matters: Brands see various requests for charitable donations each year, but many can only offer back the donation becoming tax-deductible. Newman’s Own is taking a different approach by offering companies the chance to enhance their brand and give back to children in need by using the image of a well-known movie actor.

Chris Pugh is a staff writer for PR Daily. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Send story ideas to


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