New Direction, Budget for Pork Producers

CHICAGO The National Pork Board said it has approved a $53.7 million budget for 2005 that will allow for “the first major change in the pork industry’s consumer marketing program” since the “Pork. The other white meat” campaign was launched in 1986.

The 15-member Des Moines, Iowa-based board said the new budget also includes “support for an industry-wide effort to begin mapping the swine genome and for a producer-led effort to bolster the image of the industry in the communities where they live and work.”

Also being allotted is $12 million that goes to state pork organizations for local pork check-off programs. However, the constitutionality of the mandatory checkoff that funds such programs (including those for the beef and dairy industries) has been legally challenged and may undergo radical changes [Brandweek, April 19]. The budget must go to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for final approval. The new budget year begins on Jan. 1.

A multimedia effort is expected to break in March. The National Pork Board’s lead agency is The Richards Group, Dallas, which won the account in August over Campbell Mithun, Chicago, which created “The other white meat” effort.

Regarding “The other white meat” campaign, Danita Rodibaugh, chairman of the National Pork Board’s Budget Committee, said in a statement, “Even with a [successful] campaign . . . there comes a time when you have to give it a boost with some new thinking and some new energy. This budget will provide the resources to help us build on the 3.4 percent increase in consumer demand and the double-digit increases in exports that we’ve experienced so far this year.”

—Brandweek staff report