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SOME GUARANTEES are just too good, at least in Germany.

German stores took Lands' End to court -- and won a ban on ads publicizing the American catalog company's "no matter what, no-questions asked" money-back guarantee.

The German Supreme Court ruled that the guarantee was "economically unfeasible" and therefore amounted to unfair competition.

It's not the first time that American marketing savvy and German conservatism have clashed. American producers of Tupperware were banned from advertising an unlimited guarantee, so they dropped theirs to 30 years to match Germany statute of limitations on law suits. Zippo lighters avoided court by simply removing its lifetime guarantee from German packaging.

Ironically, the ban has been good advertising. In Britain, Lands' End has run print ads proclaiming: "A Guarantee so good the Germans banned it."

Do they have pigs at the zoo?

THE BUFFALO ZOO is offering you the chance to let your boss know what kind of animal he or she really is.

For $10 you can "adopt" an animal for Boss's Day, Oct. 16. Your boss gets an adoption certificate and decal, an animal letter opener and two guest passes to the zoo.

Choose from a babbling baboon, cantankerous camel, hysterical hyena, wise owl, lovable leopard, darling deer, or any other appropriate animal. A balky buffalo perhaps, or a lying lion.

The deadline is Oct. 11. Call 837-3900, ext. 105.

An outrage to beer drinkers

CAN YOU IMAGINE pouring a cold Heineken from a container of polyethylene terephthalate?

Heineken NV and other brewers want to put beer in plastic (that's what that chemical name means) bottles to lower transport costs.

Anheuser-Busch halted its test marketing of plastic bottles in April due to consumer rejection, but Miller Brewing is still trying in 12 cities to make a go of it.

The idea has at least one meritorious point: Bar brawlers wouldn't be able to break a bottle over a fellow drunk's head anymore.

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