Pepper publicity

Casting about for ways to promote baseball clothing client The Lumber Company, the guys at MacFarlane Cohn in St. Louis started thinking about those stencilled warnings on the walls at ballparks: “No Pepper Allowed.”
Why, they wondered, had “pepper,” the fast-paced ball toss among a circle of players often seen in black-and-white footage of old-time ball players, been banned? And how could that prohibition be turned into a publicity stunt for The Lumber Company?
Inquiries to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., offered no definitive answers, and in fact only deepened the mystery. “This person went and found a file labeled ‘Pepper,'” agency principal Lew Cohn said. “And it was empty.”
The agency then mounted a mock effort to restore pepper to Major League ballparks through the fictional law firm of Tinkers, Evers & Chance, a play on the famous Chicago Cubs double-play combination of the early 1900s. Press kits were distributed at the All-Star game in Atlanta, where a group engaged in pepper games wherever fans gathered. The effort had its intended effect, garnering mention in a couple of publications–and now, this one.
MacFarlane Cohn and the St. Louis-based Lumber Company are now plotting strategy for the upcoming playoffs and World Series.
–Trevor Jensen