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Headaches - a pain in the neck.

Headaches - a pain in the neck.

Marketing. You can’t live with it and you can’t live with it, yet we do.  

Bit like Ms L. and electricity. The more solar panels we install, the more ways she finds to use electricity believing that all those excess ëkiller-waspsí will just evaporate if we don’t use them up.

Actually marketing is nothing like Ms L. and electricity, I just wanted to share my pain, an essential part of the healing process according to psychologists, which actually does segue nicely to marketing, namely the cruel ploys manufacturers use to make us spend more or use more, not least with headache tablets. 

Why are the cheapest headache tablets the biggest?

They’re huge and about the size of a tampon, with a similar texture and ingest ability specially given your throat is usually a bit ordinary from the night before which created the need in the first place.

We know the active ingredient can be condensed into something the size of a pin head, even smaller if they wished, so why bulk up the cheap versions to the point of suffocation each time you pop one?


Profit margins for tablets are inversely proportional to their size and makers know full well we would rather cure our headache than die so will happily pay for the privilege. Or unhappily.

They make headache tablets the size of a grain of rice that taste like lobster thermidor and are coated with the same lubricant they use on the international space station, but they cost $45 each. Still people pay. Just not many, and more importantly I am not among them.

I can only afford pills the size of a kids football and it is not fair.

But headache tablets are just the tip of the marketing iceberg ñ another good analogy actually given they look like a tip on the box, but you quickly realise they’re nine times that size when you open it.

Marketing ploys are widespread and entrenched yet so surreptitious that we’ve barely touched on just one, filling a whole column intended to reveal many.

So stay tuned for more of the same next week, including the mistake they made when changing the name of Coon cheese ñ just settle and pause that Facebook finger Rednecks, it is not what you think ñ and what to drink with it for instance :

Neagles Rock Clare Valley 'Break of Day' Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, $22. We enjoyed this immensely without analysing why, then noticed it is 15% Öaha. Great value and loved the dishevelled 'three-wise-men' on the label too. 9.5/10.

Neagles Rock Clare Valley 'Mr Duncan' Malbec 2017, $18. I'm normally a big fan of malbec but this slightly lighter version was missing the big, bright sugar hit of some. More your savoury red for sophisticated settings such as barbecues. 9/10.

Wildflower Western Australia Pinot Grigio 2020, $22. Must be going soft in my middle years as well as around my middle, this is enjoyable grigio. You don't hear that often. 9.1/10.

Wildflower Western Australia Shiraz 2018, $22. Food friendly the gold medals on the label suggest. All you need then is food that ís wine friendly. 9.2/10.

Tapanappa (Wrattonbully) Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Franc Merlot, 2016, $90. The mix bounces around each vintage but the allure remains, indeed it gets, well, more alluring while 2016 is almost archaeological in modern wine vernacular. 9.4/10.

Tapanappa (Wrattonbully) Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet Shiraz 2016, $55. This would be your 'go to' red if money were no object, indeed it could be your 'go to' red even if it were. 9.5/10.

Grape Expectations by Max Crus (Column No.1415)