WWR identifies 'sponge-worthy' men for relaunch

NEW YORK: WWR Public Relations is poised to promote the relaunch of the Today Sponge. The contraceptive device was made famous by the character Elaine in Seinfeld who deemed suitors 'sponge-worthy' or not in an effort to preserve her dwindling supply after the product was pulled in 1995.

NEW YORK: WWR Public Relations is poised to promote the relaunch of the Today Sponge. The contraceptive device was made famous by the character Elaine in Seinfeld who deemed suitors 'sponge-worthy' or not in an effort to preserve her dwindling supply after the product was pulled in 1995.

NEW YORK: WWR Public Relations is poised to promote the relaunch of the Today Sponge. The contraceptive device was made famous by the character Elaine in Seinfeld who deemed suitors 'sponge-worthy' or not in an effort to preserve her dwindling supply after the product was pulled in 1995.

Allendale Pharmaceuticals purchased the patent to the sponge in 1999.

The sponge was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by Whitehall Robins (later American Home Products) because of manufacturing problems. Final FDA clearance has been pending for about 18 months and is dependent upon an imminent inspection of the plant.

The delay in the actual re-launch of the product has not slowed the PR buzz. 'I don't think I've ever had in my career such a successful PR program for a product that doesn't exist,' said Richard Rothstein, president of WWR.

News that Allendale was planning to bring the Today Sponge out again was leaked at the March 1999 Contraceptive Technology Conference in San Francisco. But Rothstein said the press treated it as a full scale relaunch as the story was picked up by the Today show, Time magazine and CNN, among others.

WWR has been preparing for this for more than a year. 'We'll be doing a lot with (Seinfeld's) 'sponge-worthy,' including surveys of today's women to find out what makes a man so,' said Rothstein.

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, who played Elaine on Seinfeld, declined to become a spokesperson for the sponge. Even so, Rothstein said, 'At least 50% of stories include a reference to 'sponge-worthy,' and it hasn't cost us a cent.'





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