BPI Press Conference

Regina Roth, co-founder of Beef Products Inc., left, and general counsel and corporate administrator Rich Jochum respond to questions at a March 2012 news conference at BPI headquarters in Dakota Dunes. Jochum testified Monday in BPI’s $1.9 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC for a series of stories that ABC reported in March 2012.

Laura Wehde, Sioux City Journal file

With its Lean Finely Textured Beef under attack in the national media, Beef Products Inc. early last month retained Ketchum, one of the nation's largest PR firms, to handle crisis communications.

At the time, BPI couldn't have known that its efforts "would be undermined" by another Ketchum client, fast-food giant Wendy's, Advertising Age reports.

Last Friday, Wendy's ran a full-page ad in newspapers across the country saying, "We've never used 'pink slime' and we never will. That's our promise to you. That's Wendy's Way."

The conflict forced Ketchum to turn over the BPI work to another firm in its Omnicom network.

"On March 4 we began working on a confidential BPI assignment," Ketchm said in a statement to Advertising Age. "As a result, we did not know that another client's business would intersect with the work we were doing. When we realized the implications, we informed both clients and while they understand that both of our teams are working independently, we are transitioning [BPI] work to another firm in the Omnicom network."

Ketchum did not elaborate on which of its sister shops is now handling the efforts for the Dakota-Dunes company, which is fighting to restore confidence in its low-fat beef trimmings, and win back customers who bailed because of consumer pressure fueled by a social media frenzy. Other large PR firms in the Omnicom network include Fleishman-Hillard and Porter Novelli

Last week, BPI, one of metro Sioux City's largest employers, suspended production at three of its four LFTB plants.

 

 

 

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