Every summer, it seems, brings a parade of outrageous stories about petty local officials who shut down kids' front-yard lemonade stands because the little moppets don't have the right permits. But this summer things might be different as civil disobedience meets corporate marketing. Young lemonade entrepreneurs are getting some support against local bureaucrats from powdered lemonade manufacturer Country Time.
This morning the company launched an ingenious summer promotional campaign. Country Time wants your kids to open lemonade stands. If some stiff suit from city hall comes calling, Country Time will help you out by covering the costs of fines and permit fees:
Kids across the country are getting busted for operating lemonade stands without a permit. We're taking the lead to #SaveLemonadeStands by paying for kids' fines + permits this year. For every RT this gets we’ll donate $1 (up to $500,000) to help kids next year + beyond.
This promo site provides the details. To take advantage of the offer, you need to be the parent of a child 14 or younger who has a lemonade stand. Country Time will cover fines or fees up to $300 per child. The company has budgeted $60,000, enough to help at least 200 kids, for the program, which runs through August. But the tweet says Country Time is prepared to create a fund of up to $500,000 to help more kids in future summers.
Country Time has an obvious agenda here: More lemonade stands potentially means more people purchasing and consuming its product. But the promotional stunt is a reminder that these meddling local officials are not protecting public safety but interfering in people's lives for stupid reasons and demanding to be paid for the service. Kudos to Country Time for trying to discourage this awful behavior, although in some cases $300 might not be enough to cover rapacious city permitting demands.