Dick Clark to lend voice for functional beverage

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Former Pepsi/Lipton Tea Partnership executive Rick Kundrat is teaming with America's oldest teen-ager to tap the $8.6 billion functional beverage market.

One-time "American Bandstand" leader Dick Clark has signed on as spokesman for a $1.5 million radio campaign to support Nuvim, a fruit-flavor drink enhanced with "micronutrients" from cows milk. Mr. Kundrat, who had been VP-marketing at the Pepsi/Lipton joint venture, joined Nuvim as chairman-CEO in November from his own marketing consultancy.

AGELESS VOICE

The seemingly ageless Mr. Clark has signed on as voice talent for 16 new radio spots from Wolf Group, Buffalo, N.Y., for the Manhattan test. Mr. Kundrat is a private investor in the company, along with venture capital company Spencer Trask & Co. Neither Mr. Kundrat nor Mr. Clark would comment on whether Mr. Clark is an investor.

The 60-second spots break June 9 during morning and afternoon drive times on stations such as WCBS, WINS-AM and WOR-AM, to target adults 35 and older. To reinforce its health positioning, Nuvim's spots end with the tag "Be healthy and energetic. Drink Nuvim. You'll love how you feel." R.J. Palmer Inc., New York, handles Nuvim's media planning and buying.

Lactoactin and lactoimmune are the chief nutrients in Nuvim's water, fructose and milk protein concentrate, which comes in berry, grapefruit, orange-tangerine, and strawberry and cream flavors.

"There's not a beverage out there that has the claims of maintaining muscle flexibility, sturdy joints and building the immune system," Mr. Kundrat said, adding the drinks provide 100% of the daily requirements for vitamins C, E, B12, iron and zinc. There is no fruit juice in the drinks, which will be sold in 64-ounce cartons for about $3.69 in grocers' refrigerated juice cases.

Mr. Clark, chairman-CEO of Dick Clark Productions, has rarely lent his name to package-goods endorsements over his 53-year career.

"People have always said to me, `What's your secret? If you bottle it I'll buy it.' " He said he signed on to the test to get in on the booming market of age-defying products, such as Nuvim.

"It's a very interesting experience," Mr. Clark said. "This could be the one." Mr. Clark wouldn't comment on terms, but admitted there is a financial incentive for him if the product is successful. "If [Nuvim] succeeds, we'll be together a long time," he said. "If not, there is certainly some educational value to the experience."

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