P&G ENLISTS POLITICAL SAVVY TO SELL OLEAN;CLINTON'S ADVISERS CREATES ADVOCACY ADS NOW RUNNING IN TEST MARKETS

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Procter & Gamble Co., in a move that signals just how much of a political football its olestra fat substitute has become, has hired top advisers to President Clinton to create ads for the ingredient.

The Communications Co., a unit of President Clinton's political agency Squier Knapp Ochs, Washington, has been enlisted along with Clinton-Gore campaign pollsters Penn & Schoen, New York. The two shops have worked on a TV, radio and print campaign running in test markets for Fat-Free Pringles, which contains olestra-branded as Olean.

ADS FROM GREY TOO

The advocacy-style ads will run alongside a consumer-oriented effort from Grey Advertising.

"They are working on the ads in conjunction with Grey," said a P&G spokeswoman of Communi-cations Co., adding that Penn & Schoen have done "specialized consumer research" on Olean.

Grey is placing the media for both efforts; the Pringles product is testing in the Columbus, Ohio, area (AA, Sept. 16)

The Clinton team brings the tally of outside marketing advisers on Olean and Fat-Free Pringles to eight.

Along with Grey and the political strategists, the others are Dilenschneider Group, Manning Selvage & Lee and Wells Rich Green BDDP, all New York; Porter/Novelli, Washington; and HMS Partners, Columbus.

$5 MIL-$10 MIL IN COLUMBUS

That's an enormous amount of resources considering that Olean-based chips are in only four markets, counting where Frito-Lay is testing its Max chips.

The budget for P&G's Columbus test is $5 million to $10 million.

A spot now running in the test markets from Mr. Squier's group shows a woman placing chips on the table for her family to eat.

"Twenty-five years in development; 150,000 pages of research. Introducing low- and no-fat Olean snacks," says the voice-over. Later in the 30-second spot, the voice-over adds: "Olean is one of the most thoroughly tested food ingredients ever approved. One million servings sold...Tested and approved by people like you."

In hiring the political consultants, P&G is going a similar route to that of its ardent foe, the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

COMPARED TO DOG FOOD

CSPI hired political strategists Zimmerman & Markman, Santa Monica, Calif., for its anti-olestra ad campaign. A CSPI ad compares chips with Olean to dog food.

And CSPI shows no sign of letting up. President Michael Jacobsen said his group will petition the Federal Trade Commission to halt P&G's Fat-Free Pringles ads, claiming they are deceptive because they don't mention the ingredient's possible side effects.

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