Pallet-maker war goes public

Protracted nastiness between the makers of wooden and plastic pallets has caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal. The prestigious daily newspaper has provided a platform (albeit an online platform) for the mudslinging.

The animosity between the two, as we've reported, began with plastic pallet maker Intelligent Global Pooling Systems attempting to capitalize on the wooden pallets' role in a string of drug recalls. The medications had a musty, moldy odor, the result of a pesticide chemical breakdown. IGPS called for an FDA investigation and federal standards for wooden pallets.

So began the IGPS assault on wood, led by Bob Moore, CEO at IGPS.

The wooden pallet camp, given voice by the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association president Bruce Scholnick, fought back. Scholnick called for an investigation of plastic pallets following the discovery of some contaminated butter. The plastic camp is now suing the association for a "malicious smear campaign."

The WSJ devotes a surprising 1,000 words to a chronicling the war, quoting analysts, academics and pallet experts in addition to the party spokesmen. Both the pun-wielding writer, Jennifer Levitz, and her sources are careful to avoid favoring one pallet type over another. Her bottom line is that the war should end because it's making both camps look bad.

But there may be no stopping them now given their premium exposure on such a high-quality platform.

- here's the story