CHAPTER VIII:
RUSSET BURBANK PROMOTED TO INTERNATIONAL FAVORITE BY IDAHO POTATO COMMISSION



In the meantime, Botsford, Constantine & Gardner merged with Ketchum McCloud and Grove and consolidated their West Coast business in a San Francisco office as Botsford Ketchum.

The advent of television began to produce mutterings in the Idaho® potato industry regarding the IPC advertising program. The grower sector in particular wanted to see Idaho® potatoes advertised on TV. The fact that the budget was inadequate for any kind of a meaningful television campaign made no difference. Almost every home had a TV set and television advertising worked miracles. Attempts to get a bill introduced in the Legislature for an increase in the assessment always met with opposition from one farm organization or another, however.

Representatives from the San Francisco office of Foote Cone & Belding (FC&B) advertising agency began making calls in Idaho and, in February of 1973, an agency review was held with Foote Cone the winner, replacing Botsford Ketchum. The IPC did, however, retain Cline, Inc., for local service tasks and in-state public relations.

In contrast to Botsford Ketchum, FC&B did not have a public relations department, so the Idaho Potato Commission went shopping in New York where they awarded their national PR business to Dudley, Anderson, Yutzy (DAY), a long-established public relations shop headed by President Barbara Hunter. DAY had considerable experience with food accounts and had good relationships with media that paid off in publicity placements.

Faced with the task of producing television commercials on a small budget, FC&B convinced Idaho governor Cecil D. Andrus to appear in TV commercials as a spokesman for Idaho® potatoes. In spite of the primitive production techniques used for the commercials, the governor's gift of warmth and charisma projected well, and when the ads were aired in the nation's large cities, they produced a feedback of favorable comments.

The IPC's seven years with Foote Cone & Belding were interrupted by frequent staff changes at the agency office. Norm Anderson was first assigned to the account, only to leave the agency to start his own business. His successor also had a short tenure and FC&B hired Anderson on a consulting basis to handle the Idaho potato account, an arrangement that proved to have its problems. In 1980, the IPC instructed executive director Gordon Randall to have an agency review.

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