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Media attention-rather than marketing savvy-launched Quigley Corp.'s Cold-Eeze into national prominence last year.

The attention came in the form of a study in which 43% of respondents reported a reduction in common cold symptoms after taking the zinc product.

Chuck Phillips, VP-chief operating officer, said Quigley challenged "one of the great American myths-that we can do a lot, but why can't we do anything for the cold?"

Quigley started marketing Cold-Eeze with a modest spot radio budget in early 1996, but switched gears last July when the Cleveland Clinic published a larger study confirming previous work elsewhere.

"We had to just sit back and ride the wave" of publicity, Mr. Phillips said.

But even a small retailer co-op ad program via Frees Media, Springfield, N.J., became a problem when stores ran short of the product and Quigley couldn't keep up with the sudden demand.

"I had retailers calling to say, `I've had 10,000 people in the store asking for this, and if you tag me [in the ad] one more time, I'll sue you,"' said Mr. Phillips.

As the cold season winds down, Quigley is catching up with orders and arranging for greater manufacturing capacity.

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