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Gnats beware

May 21, 2012 - Mike Donahey
Credit the public relations company managing the Absorbine Jr. account with one of the more clever marketing campaigns I’ve seen recently. They are promoting the sore muscle and arthritis pain relief product as a gnat repellant

The company cited testimonials from customers who initially used the product for its intended purpose but discovered it repelled gnats as well. “Last year we noticed an increase in the number of inquiries to our customer service department regarding Absorbine Jr. and its ability to help with gnats,” said Robert J. Wallace, vice president of sales at W.F. Young, Inc. “We don’t make any claims that Absorbine Jr. helps in this way, but it really has become a word-of-mouth phenomenon.” How? “The combination of several of the ingredients in Absorbine Jr., such as natural menthol, absinthium oil, wormwood oil and other herbal ingredients, gives the product a unique scent gnats apparently do not find appealing,” it reported

I checked with a source who could provide insight. That was Garry Brandenburg, the Times-Republican outdoor editor. He said he didn’t know if the product did or did not repel gnats. Also, he had not heard of anyone in his circle say they had tried it to repel gnats. But Garry is open-minded and the kind of man who will probably test it out for himself. He’s probably asked around, like I have. I’ve talked to only a few people who are outside frequently and they had not heard of the product as a gnat repeller, but like Garry and I, are opened minded to giving it a try.

Absorbine Jr. has been around a long time. “Caring for Horse and Rider Since 1892” is the product tag line. Wilbur F. Young and wife Mary Ida, formulated a liniment, containing natural herbal ingredients, that helped relive the muscle pain of their hard-working horses, reported the company. Soon farmers realized it helped their own aches and pains. That begat Absorbine Jr. Pain Relief Liquid.

For my aches and pains I’ve used Ben-Gay and generic products. But now Absorbine Jr. has my attention and I’ll try it for relief. And I’ll try it next time I’m outside. Gnats beware.


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