FDA oat ruling triggers ads

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Quaker Oats and General Mills race out new campaigns, breaking as early as late this week, that capitalize on U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval of health claims for oatmeal and oat bran. General Mills' Cheerios may be the first to market with a TV ad campaign, a network TV effort from Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, New York, done in news-reporting format. Ads inform consumers FDA has said certain levels of oat-soluble fiber can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

A Quaker executive said that the company was hiking its oatmeal ad spending 10%. That's up from an estimated $20 million for its several oatmeal brands. Much of the increase will go to support a new TV effort breaking either late this week or early next from Jordan, McGrath, Case & Taylor, New York, that resurrects an earlier strategy of showing the legendary Quaker Oats man with the theme, "Why is this man smiling?" The spot then shows a couple and asks the same question while discussing the health benefits of eating Quaker oatmeal. The Quaker ad will run with Quaker's current, "Oh, what those oats can do" campaign.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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