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Boycott of Iams/Eukanuba Dog Food Intensifies

The outdoor sporting community has raised quite a fuss regarding
Iams/Eukanuba's financial support of the profusely anti-hunting HSUS. That
kind of pressure is usually enough to make a corporation take a second look
at some of their decisions. But not Iams (owned by Procter & Gamble). They
are continuing their support of HSUS and sincerely hoping that this matter
will simply go away. That sportsmen will simply overlook the situation,
given time.

Well Iam's is just starting to find out how serious, committed, and unified
the outdoor sporting community is. Please read the following report from
The Outdoor Wire (the Outdoor Sports Industry's daily newsletter). I can
only hope that everyone of us sportsmen can show the same strong conviction
to our sport that several sporting dog publications have shown, described in
this report. Please read on - and if you haven't done so already, contact
Iam's, Proctor & Gamble and Iam's-carrying retailers to notify them that you
are finished using their products. They are hurting us where it hurts most.
Let's afford them the same. Conact info is included further down.
****************************************************
THE COST OF CONVICTION
by Jim Shepherd, The Outdoor Wire

For anyone in the business of communications, especially in "affinity"
communications (like ours), there is a fine line between editorial purity
and the impression that anyone supporting our "affinity" group - whatever
their actions - will get a pass from us.

Unfortunately, that's too-often a correct; for the cost of conviction
can be costly. For some of us, our convictions have meant the loss of
industry "friends" (although those are friends you can live without) or
being ostracized by colleagues. In other instances, it can lead to putting
your particular publication through potentially rough times -because you
choose to represent your readers- and your convictions.

Yesterday, The Outdoor Wire learned The Pointing Dog Journal, The
Retriever Journal, Traveling Wingshooter, and Just Labs magazines were
"firing" their second-largest advertiser. When I got in touch with Laurie
Morrow, the Director of Communications & Advertising, what I learned was
quite a story. These small magazines are, indeed, severing a long and
successful advertising relationship with IAMS/Eukanuba dog food.

Why?

Concerns over that Procter & Gamble subsidiary's continued support of
the Human Society of the United States (HSUS), an avowed animal rights group
that, despite the benign title, is vehemently opposed to hunting. This group
purchases wild land for the express purpose of allowing it to lie dormant
-and off- limits to hunting.

Recently, the magazines received readers' complaints about IAMS
support of "Pet Fests" - again, a benign sounding six city tour featuring
the IAMS Superdogs and other exhibits. "It turned into a groundswell of
protest," Morrow told me, "subscribers called us and told us they were
boycotting all IAMS products. Then they told us they were canceling their
subscriptions with us as well."

At that point, Morrow contacted the External Affairs Department of
IAMS and explained the situation simply: "our readers have concern over the
perceived link between IAMS and HSUS. This is causing a hue-and-cry in the
sporting dog community. They are going to boycott IAMS products - and cancel
subscriptions in our publications as well."

Many of the sporting dog owners also called the US Sportsman's
Alliance, a group already making noises about the IAMS/HSUS connection. And,
Morrow told The Outdoor Wire, that had already generated a number of calls
and letters to IAMS.

The last "Pet Fest" is scheduled for April 17, and as of now, there's
still no official word on the program continuing - or IAMS continued
sponsorship. So, pet food company officials apparently hoped the whole
affair would simply "go away." In an attempt to offer IAMS the opportunity
to address the concerns of the sporting dog community, Morrow and the
editorial team asked to be allowed to "help craft a position paper to put in
Gun Dog and Pointing Dog Journal to satisfy all parties." It was their
expressed intent, according to Morrow, to allow IAMS the opportunity to
apologize for the apparent HSUS support. It didn't turn out that way. A
position paper was written, but "watered down," according to Morrow. At that
point, she said, "gut feelings told her to do some more checking on the
IAMS/HSUS relationship."

At that point, a gut feeling turned into a sinking sensation.

The connection between the dog food manufacturer and the anti-hunting
HSUS was considerably deeper than a one-time event. In fact, the HSUS's
Chief of Staff holds a seat on the six-member IAMS Nutritional Advisory
Board. The other members also appeared to Morrow to represent neutral or
anti-hunting groups. The HSUS website proudly described Pet Fests as another
way to "recruit new support" for their positions - including the efforts to
stop hunting. To that end, HSUS representatives were actively "working" the
events, passing out literature and recruiting new members to "draw them into
the animal rights movement."

At that point, IAMS was asked to consider the addition of a seventh
member - a pro-hunting member - to their nutritional advisory board. The
suggestion included the name of a well-known and respected canine
orthopedist. One IAMS had used for advice in the past. Addition of this
pro-hunting enthusiast, Morrow suggested, might soothe the rumpled feathers
among the sporting dog community.

The suggestion was met with resounding silence. Consequently, Morrow
and editor Steve Smith realized they faced a hard decision. "Since 1998,
IAMS/Eukanuba has spent nearly $17 5, 000 with our magazines, " Morrow
related, "in niche publications like ours, that's a lot of revenue."

"But," she said, "we realized that we just can't sit on both sides of
the fence. Our advertisers aren't why we're here - our readers are." So, it
was a simple editorial decision, to fire their second largest advertiser.
The reasoning was simple: "if we don't stand up for what we believe, what
would make anyone want to read us," Morrow explains, "I wouldn't."

Just yesterday, IAMS received initial word of the decision. The
notification said very simply: " we're not angry; you just can't advertise
here anymore."

The sporting dog community isn't a huge market segment. In
corporations, it's always about market share. Consequently, a lack of
response most likely reflects a general corporate feeling that, if you
ignore something long enough, it will eventually go away on its own.

IAMS has been a tremendous supporter of field trials across the
country. It may also be a corporate assumption that financial support is
important enough to keep the protests to a minimum - inside the range of
"acceptable losses." Many financially strapped groups may, indeed, choose to
turn a blind eye to the whole matter and take the money.

The Outdoor Wire has learned from highly-reliable sources that the
groundswell of indignation may continue to gain momentum. According to
sources, one highly respected national event has already voted not to
welcome IAMS back. Further, several groups not traditionally associated with
the field dog publications are looking at throwing their advertising support
behind Pointing Dog Journal, Retriever Journal, Just Labs, and Traveling
Wingshooter.

"We're doing this happily, " Morrow told me. "advertising isn't why -
or even how - we exist. We didn't face a quandary in making a decision - we
exist for our readers. We might take a financial hit, but it's one we
couldn't afford not to take."

As of our deadline, calls to IAMS had not been returned. Should they
respond, we'll certainly afford them the opportunity to explain their
decisions - and respond to the decisions of these magazines.

In the meantime, I've decided I can afford a couple of new magazine
subscriptions. Maybe I'll teach my Cairn Terrier to point - or my neighbor's
Jack Russell to retrieve. Even if I don't, I'll believe what I read.

Get outside and enjoy your weekend.
****************************************
Conatct Iams Company at:
Jeffery P. Ansell, President, The Iams Company
7250 Poe Ave., Dayton, OH 45414
Ph: (937) 898-7387, Fax (937) 264-7264, Toll Free (800)
675-3849
Contact Iams' parent company, Procter & Gamble at:
Alan G. Lafley, President, The Procter & Gamble Company
1 Procter & Gamble Plaza, Cincinnati, OH, 45202
Ph (513) 983-1100, Fax (513) 983-9369
Contact retailers that carry Iams and Eukanuba brand of pet foods. Let them
know you oppose their promotion of the nation's largest animal rights
organization:
Kroger Companies, Don W. McGeorge, President, 1014 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH
45202-1100
Ph: 513-762-4000, Fax: 513-762-1160
Companies Include: Kroger, Fry's, Smith's, Ralph's, Dillions, City Market,
Hilander, Baker's, JayC Food Stores, Kessel, Owen's
Safeway Inc., Steven A Burd, President, 5918 Stoneridge Mall Rd.,
Pleasanton, CA 94588-3492
Ph: 925-467-3000, Fax: 925-467-3321
Companies Include: Safeway, Vons, Pavilions
Kmart, Julian C. Day, President, 3100 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy, MI 48084-3163

Ph: 248-463-1000, Fax: 248-463-5636
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Lee Scott Jr., President, 702 S.W. 8th St.,
Bentonville, AR 72716
Ph: 479-273-4000, Fax: 479-273-4053
Target Corp., Robert J. Ulrich, CEO, 1000 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN
55403
Ph: 612-304-6073, Fax: 612-696-3731
PetsMart Inc., Robert F. Moran, President, 19601 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ
85027
Ph: 800-738-1385, Fax: 623-580-6502
Petco Animal Supplies Inc., Brian K Devine, President, 9125 Rehco Rd., San
Diego, CA 92121
Ph: 858-453-7845, Fax: 858-677-3095

Peapod.com, Marc C. Van Gelder, President, 9933 Woods Dr., Ste. 375, Skokie,
IL 60077
Ph: 800-573-2763, Fax: 847-583-9494
Petfood Express, Michael Levy, President, 2131 Williams St., San Leandro, CA
94577
Ph: 877-472-7777, Fax: 510-346-7788
PetFoodDirect.com, Geoffrey C. Walker, CEO, 203 Progress Dr.,
Montgomeryville, PA 18936
Ph: 800-865-1333, Fax: 215-699-4774

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