Florida launches OJ PR campaign

LAKELAND, FL: Worried by the cultish popularity of low-carb diets and competition from other beverages, the Florida Department of Citrus launched a $7-million marketing campaign April 19 to tout the health benefits of 100% orange juice.

LAKELAND, FL: Worried by the cultish popularity of low-carb diets and competition from other beverages, the Florida Department of Citrus launched a $7-million marketing campaign April 19 to tout the health benefits of 100% orange juice.

Golin/Harris International is handling the PR side of the campaign, which will include PSAs to air on national TV starting in May. The PSAs, called "Confusion" because of the dieting choices Americans have, will explain why a healthy lifestyle starts with a good breakfast, including a glass of OJ. The PSAs are being produced in conjunction with Shape Up America!, a nonprofit founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

Orange juice sales have declined 5% nationally over the last three years, said Andrew Meadows, an information specialist with the Florida Department of Citrus, which estimates that citrus sales add $9 billion annually to Florida's economy. The drop in sales is due to the popularity of low-carb diets, which scoff at OJ as too carbohydrate-heavy, said Meadows, who added that new drinks flooding the market also hurt OJ sales.

"New beverages are constantly coming on," Meadows said, "and bottled water has shown to have an effect on our product."

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