Benton & Bowles Nemesis Returns

George Whipple has mellowed. After hanging up his grocer’s jacket in 1985, the ad icon returns July 1 in a 30-second spot in which – shock! – he does not admonish people for squeezing the “squeezably soft” bathroom tissue.
Instead, Charmin ads from D’Arcy Masius, Benton & Bowles, which has handled the brand since 1964, highlight Whipple’s return from retirement. The tagline, “He’s back! Because new Charmin’s better,” also touts product improvements.
Dick Wilson, now 82, came out of retirement to reprise his most famous role.
Sherry Nemmers, DMB&B’s worldwide creative director on Charmin, says Whipple’s return is no act of desperation (Charmin has long been the category leader).
“Focus groups of people aged 20-25 consistently named Mr. Whipple in association with the product,” she said, even though they were small children when he left.
Ironically, the former Benton & Bowles reportedly made it an “ongoing mission” to kill Whipple from its Charmin ads, according to the book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This, by Luke Sullivan. – Kathleen Sampey