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Monterey Pasta Co., trying to solidify its position in the $340 million fresh pasta and sauce market, is again finding itself in hot water.

The marketer had planned to launch a print and radio campaign tagged "Stand by your pasta" this fall. The $3 million to $5 million print portion was to have included a number of gourmet magazines.

However, a "revenue shortfall," as one insider put it, forced most of the campaign to be canceled.


The cancellation came just before the unexpected departure earlier this month of three corporate directors, including Norman "Ned" Dean, president-CEO of Monterey for less than a year.

Mr. Dean, formerly a top Nestle Beverage Co. executive, tried to turn around the company by selling off its restaurants and retail outlets, and focusing on a marketing overhaul of its refrigerated gourmet pastas and sauces in competition with Nestle USA's Contadina and Kraft Foods' DiGiorno.

Among the changes were a new package design emphasizing the company's roots in Monterey Bay.

The new campaign, from Ingalls Moranville, San Francisco, uses a romantic photo of a woman to build an "emotional bridge to customer loyalty," said Rob Ingalls, creative director.

The campaign is now expected to resume in February.

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