Beatrice fights back with outdoor onslaught

Beatrice Foods, recently stung by a failed injunction against rival dairy Ault's advertising for its Lactantia PurFiltre milk, has launched a billboard campaign to bolster the image of its own product.Beatrice was concerned that Ault advertising, launched last month, that says...

Beatrice Foods, recently stung by a failed injunction against rival dairy Ault’s advertising for its Lactantia PurFiltre milk, has launched a billboard campaign to bolster the image of its own product.

Beatrice was concerned that Ault advertising, launched last month, that says its filtering process leaves 92% less bacteria than pasteurization alone, would harm the image of regular milk.

The injunction attempt failed, except for a concession on the part of Ault to not use words or expressions such as ‘purer,’ ‘healthier,’ ‘safer,’ or ‘more wholesome’ in the ad copy.

The new Beatrice billboards, created by Leo Burnett, Toronto, picture a cow and a carton of Beatrice milk, with the words ‘Nothing is better.’

The billboards went up throughout Ontario Jan. 30. Beatrice will not divulge the duration of the campaign.

Although simple, and seemingly vague, Beatrice says the billboards are a direct response to the PurFiltre campaign, created by Lowe SMS, Toronto.

‘We’re concerned about the consumer perception,’ says Wayne Newson, president of the Beatrice Dairy Division.

Newson, who still maintains Beatrice has nothing against the creation of a premium milk category, says consumer tests conducted by his company show there is no taste preference for the PurFiltre milk, but he was unable to provide specific figures.

‘What we’re trying to communicate is that you can get the same nutritional value and the same taste, for less money,’ Newson says.

PurFiltre milk sells for about 15 cents more than regular milk for a one-litre carton, and up to about 40 cents more for four-litre bags.

The Beatrice billboard campaign follows the arrival late last month of ’100 per cent Pure Cow’ bus shelter posters by Natrel, a Longueil, Que.-based dairy that was launching its UltraMilk product in some Ontario cities.

Despite its name, that product is not a premium milk.

With the impending launch of the PurFiltre product in Quebec, there are rumblings of an attempt on the part of another competitor to stop Ault’s contentious advertising.

‘They definitely tried in Ontario, so we think they may try something in Quebec,’ says Jean Noelting, president of Ault’s fluid division in Quebec.

Noelting says the premium milk will not be launched in Quebec for three to four months.

Ault has recently received provincial government guidelines on the price it can charge for a premium milk.

Ault can add 19 cents on a four-litre bag, 12 cents for a two-litre carton, and seven cents for a one-litre carton.