Rogers & Cowan helps with cereal launch

LOS ANGELES: Rogers & Cowan aided General Mills in launching a new low-carb breakfast cereal at events surrounding LA Fashion Week late last month.

LOS ANGELES: Rogers & Cowan aided General Mills in launching a new low-carb breakfast cereal at events surrounding LA Fashion Week late last month.

The cereal, Total Protein, was offered to models, designers, and others backstage at the fashion shows during rehearsals in an attempt to reach out to influencers in the world of low-carb lifestyles.

"It just seemed to make a lot of sense from the perspective of weight management," said Kim Olsen, General Mills' brand public relations director. "You had a nice convergence of the right target and celebrity influencers in particular."

Rogers & Cowan is handling the Total Protein launch as a project for General Mills. It began a relationship with the multinational last year when the agency assisted with a Betty Crocker campaign focusing around fundraising for ovarian cancer research. General Mills does not have an AOR but uses multiple agencies.

Minneapolis-based Padilla Speer Beardsley is handling media outreach to lifestyle and business media for the launch.

The low-carb cereal debut comes at a time when Steve Sanger, General Mills chairman and CEO, has blamed the diet trend for decreased earnings. During a recent consumer analyst conference, he said that the fiscal year ending in May 2004 will show gains, "but our growth won't be as strong" as expected due "in part to the current low-carb phenomenon."

The company has launched other products to tap into the trend, including Nouriche Light yogurt beverages, 8th Continent Light soymilk, and Progresso Carb Monitor soup.

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