DIVORCING MORRIS AND CHARLIE

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If you want further evidence of how advertising and marketing is changing, think more fully about the significance of the news that H.J. Heinz Co. and Leo Burnett Co. have ended a 36-year client/agency relationship.

In the 1990s, Heinz has moved marketing dollars into sales promotion and other vehicles, consumer and trade, with fewer dollars for mass media advertising. Of all the famous Heinz products, just two currently get media support: Heinz 57 sauce and Heinz gravy.

No Morris the Cat speaking so snobbishly for 9-Lives cat food; no Charlie the Tuna trying to "move on up" to the fisheries of Star-Kist. The advertising that played so great a role in building these two brands is now recalled by consumers rather than seen by consumers (we'd lay money on the recall).

We're not waxing nostalgic here (though we are feeling nostalgic). The point is the marketplace has changed-even if the need to continue to build brand franchises has not. And while Heinz turns to other tactics, new marketing forces pick up the ad slack. What is seen now is advertising building new brands, new industries. Intel and Microsoft, unknown names to the general populace not too very long ago, today are generating ad campaigns of significant magnitude and broad consumer reach.

The brand-building that Heinz did for its products will not dissipate all at once, of course. But the reality is, for an agency like Burnett, you can't make money on memories. Sorry, Charlie.

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