There’s a revealing new article in The New York Times addressing the U.S. Government’s promotion of cheese.
Domino’s Pizza was hurting early last year. Domestic sales had fallen, and a survey of big pizza chain customers left the company tied for the worst tasting pies.
Then help arrived from an organization called Dairy Management. It teamed up with Domino’s to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese, and proceeded to devise and pay for a $12 million marketing campaign.
Now, to be fair, they’re talking about the Wisconsin pizza from Domino’s, not the vaunted “we started over” standard version.
Here’s the kicker:
And Dairy Management, which has made cheese its cause, is not a private business consultant. It is a marketing creation of the United States Department of Agriculture — the same agency at the center of a federal anti-obesity drive that discourages over-consumption of some of the very foods Dairy Management is vigorously promoting.
The whole article is fascinating, with source documents attached.
Look, I eat Domino’s, and I’m not here to impugn them. I understand the consequences of my actions. But yesterday, I went to the TedXPeachtree conference, where one of the presentations shown was this startling one from Jamie Oliver:
The NYT article illuminates the double standard of the American food supply and our increasing obesity and illness rates: the government, and agribusiness, is contributing to the problem while claiming to combat it.
This is particularly relevant to the ad world lately. Because if Alex Bogusky wants to turn into the next Ralph Nader, he’s gonna have to tackle the crazy hairball that is represented in this article. Agribusiness. Government. Advertising. It’s all wound together. And no one knows that better than Bogusky, the man whose namesake agency works on…um…oh, yeah. Domino’s.
In his career, Ralph Nader made a lot of enemies along the way. Anyone who wants to penetrate our government and big business’ influence over our food choices will make a lot of enemies too.