WASHINGTON -- A splashy new promotional campaign designed to educate consumers, particularly women, on the nutritional benefits of milk will be launched next month.
The National Milk Processor Promotion Board's $52 million effort, featuring 20 celebrities, all sporting milk mustaches, will debut via a print campaign in several national magazines. A milk hotline, 1-800-WHY-MILK, has also been established to answer consumer's questions about milk.
Participants in the "Milk. What a Surprise!" promotion, so far include: Lauren Bacall, Christie Brinkley, Naomi Campbell, Joan Rivers, Vanna White, Natasha Kinski and Isabella Rosellini.
Each has been photographed individually and will appear with a personalized message about why she drinks milk.
Charlie Decker, executive director of the board, based here, said the campaign was conceived as a way to "get away from the myths of milk being boring, uncool and old fashioned" and to head off a 30-year decline in per capita milk consumption.
The public needs to know that skim milk and low-fat milk have all the nutrients of whole milk, he said.
Medical researchers say 75% of all women are not getting the calcium they need and should drink three eight-ounce glasses per day to get enough calcium. Approximately 20 million women suffer from osteoporosis, caused by calcium deficiency.
Elements of the program including retailer involvement and possible tie-ins with complementary food manufacturers, such as cookie and cereal companies, are still being developed, according to Kenneth McCarren, a senior partner at Bozell Worldwide, New York, the advertising agency that created the campaign.
Kroger Co., Cincinnati, which operates nine dairies and supplies milk and other dairy items to its 11 divisions, contributed $1.9 million to the campaign, which was funded through mandatory contributions from the nation's milk processors.
"We are a significant player in the dairy industry and we are a supporter of milk and dairy product promotions," said Paul Bernish, a Kroger spokesman, commenting on his company's participation.
Bernish said Kroger's milk sales have increased 4.7% in 1994 over 1993. He said within that growth, however, skim milk sales were up 12%, while whole and 2% fat milk were slightly off.
"We have introduced no-fat yogurt and cottage cheese, and nonfat sour cream. They are all doing well," said Bernish.