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Everybody tries to get the best out of this horrible situation the world is in right now, and there seems to be no limit in exploiting desperate people. Hungarian channel screened a phone-in program that tried to sell 90ml of hand sanitiser for 165 Euros.

Pesti Hírlap writes that a clip of a phone-in show surfaced on the internet, where they are selling hand sanitisers for 165 Euros. In this clip, the host emphasises that they only have 100 packages available, and he even apologises for not having enough for everyone.

These 30-minute-or-so phone-in shows (in the U.S. known as “As seen on TV”) work with direct-response mail-order through a telephone number. These aim to sell a wide range of products from kitchen, household, automotive, cleaning, health, and beauty products, or in this case, hand sanitisers. Ékszer TV is one of these shows that run on a channel called ATV.

Ékszer TV uses all the classics: so much information on the screen that your face gets dizzy, the most dramatic background music you can imagine, and an energetic and annoying host. The most highly criticised element of the show, however, is the product: packages of hand sanitisers.

We all know by now how important it is to wash and sanitise our hands often during the current pandemic. For the sudden increase in demand, many shops struggle with supply shortages. This phone-in show clearly found this niche worth exploiting.

The idea to take advantage of desperate people, especially the target demographic of these shows (aged 60+) is in itself an ethically questionable decision. However, what outraged people the most is that they were trying to sell packages of three 300ml bottles of off-brand hand sanitisers for a starting price over 165 Euros + shipping fee!

Even though the hand sanitisers eventually did not sell for the starting price, they were still outrageously overpriced and went for 33 Euros + shipping fee. 33 Euros for 90ml of hand sanitiser is still a lot considering that you can buy 1 l of hand sanitiser for a little over 4 Euros in every drug store or pharmacy.

ATV claims that they had no prior knowledge about the product the show will advertise, but they assumed jewellery. Ékszer TV literally means Jewellery TV in Hungarian.

OSF George Soros
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