Stern Says Yes To Snapple !
After a two year separation that was as bitter as a divorce, Howard
and Snapple Beverages have made-up. With Quaker Oats' recent sale of Snapple
for almost a one billion dollar loss, the new Snapple management is wasting
no time getting back to it's roots which means coming back to Howard's show.
On today's show, Howard welcomed Snapple back during a local break at
7:55AM. Saying that he always liked the drink but that "politics"
were involved when Quaker Oats decided to pull all of it's Ads from Howard's
show a few years ago.
Neal Travis' New York
Stern makes Snapple decision
An executive of the reeling Quaker Oats conglomerate listening to Howard
Stern yesterday morning would have choked on his breakfastcereal. There
was Howard, again shilling on the radio for Snapple -- the product that
will go down as Quaker's $2 billion mistake. It's no accident that Stern
is back as Snapple's pitchman just 10 days after billionaire Nelson Peltz
took the company off Quaker's hands for a bargain-basement $300 million.
I understand Peltz made sure the top-ranked radio man would come aboard
again before he signed the deal.
Neither Quaker nor Wall Street analysts ever understood how important
Stern was to the sales of Snapple's ice teas and fruit drinks. He enthusiastically
advertised the quirky product from the start. But when Quaker made its staggering
$1.7 billion takeover 30 months ago, Stern was rudely dropped.
He may have been too raunchy for a company with "Quaker" in
its name, but Stern's 18 million (orwhatever) fans do as he tells them.
Stern made it clear how betrayed he felt and virtually told his listeners
to boycott Snapple.
The result was a disaster for Quaker, which had paid way over the market
price for the company and lost at least another $300 million as sales slumped.
No one in the company seemed to have caught on to the Stern factor, although
I wrote about it in this space two years ago.
Anyway, the savvy Peltz knew what had to be done. A former Broadway
producer and something of a jet-setter, he's a big fan of the radio king,
who was the spokesman for another of Peltz's Triarc Co. products, Mystic
drinks, last year.
Peltz, I understand, made overtures to Stern and was assured he would
forgive and forget and again pitch Snapple -- as long as it was out of Quaker's
control. I'll bet what Peltz will do next is reinstate "Wendy the Snapple
Lady" in print and TV commercials.
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©1997 The K.O.A.M.
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