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CHER AND EQUAL (R) ANNOUNCE ENCORE PERFORMANCE; CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT A SWEET SUCCESS FOR INDUSTRY LEADER

 CHICAGO, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- EQUAL (R), the number one selling packet sweetener at retail, has announced the renewal of its highly successful marketing campaign with popular singer/actress Cher.
 Starting New Year's Day, Cher will be back on television with a message about the great taste of Equal and a promotional offer for Cher's new exercise video, "CherFitness (TM) - Body Confidence."
 According to NutraSweet's marketing director, Dave Tuchler, the company saw a boost in sales directly related to the 1992 Cher television ad campaign. "Cher really works for Equal," says Tuchler. "People find her credible. She wouldn't advertise a product she didn't believe in or didn't use."
 "Cher made people think about those 40 pounds of sugar they're eating every year," notes Tuchler. "She explained how it's easy to cut back and that even small changes can result in a healthier lifestyle. And, Cher firmly established the point of preference for Equal over the pink stuff.' These are key messages for Equal and Cher is a very effective person to tell our story," adds Tuchler.
 Focus group research conducted on the Cher TV spots reinforced NutraSweet's enthusiasm for their star and the direction of the new round of television and radio spots. Viewers emphasized Cher's credibility, a new awareness towards sugar, and a preference for Equal. Comments included:
 "Cher wouldn't advertise a product she doesn't use."
 "She is very believable, real likeable."
 "Cher makes sense for Equal because she is health conscious."
 "Equal will help you lead a healthy lifestyle. It's not a change, just another option."
 The positive association between Cher and Equal formed by the past year's commercials, and the strong retention of commercial copy points, called for an encore performance of the campaign.
 Commercial Copy Points
 A series of three television spots will air in '93 beginning with a repeat of this year's "Forty Pounds." Two new spots, created with additional footage from the original filming, include "I Don't Believe in Diets" in which Cher proclaims:
 "I don't believe in diets, I don't think they work. I do believe in trying to eat wisely and eating good food."
 Cher discusses how Equal is a way for her to reduce calories throughout her day, without having to "diet" per se.
 The second new TV spot, "Taste," delivers a close-up of Cher as she tastes the product right out of the packet.
 The commercials, directed for television by Hollywood photographer Herb Ritts, feature candid observations from Cher who is being interviewed off-camera by "A Current Affair" entertainment reporter, Jeanne Wolf. Shot without a script, the filming provides a very personal view of Cher and her thoughts on health and sweeteners.
 Cher's candid comments are also on two spots produced for radio. This is the first time Equal has included national radio in its marketing strategy.
 Cher Video Promotion
 The Cher/Equal marketing campaign extends to a national promotion with Cher's latest exercise video. Equal newspaper advertisements, scheduled for distribution on Jan. 10, promote an Equal on-pack rebate offer. Consumers receive a $5 mail-in rebate when combining proofs of purchase from any size Equal and Cher's new video "CherFitness (TM): Body Confidence."
 Released in November, "Body Confidence" is currently No. 2 on Billboard's Health & Fitness Video Chart. Cher's first workout video, "CherFitness (TM): A New Attitude," which was released in 1991, still hits the Billboard Chart at No. 13. "Attitude" holds the record for maintaining a No. 1 Billboard position longer than any other exercise video in distribution.
 EQUAL (R) sweetener, introduced in 1982, is the number-one selling sweetener packet in retail stores. Equal is made with NutraSweet (R) brand sweetener. Both are manufactured by The NutraSweet Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Monsanto Co., with headquarters in Deerfield, Ill.
 Nutrasweet 10th Anniversary "Looking to the Future"
 Cher on Men, Fitness and Nutrition
 -- I could give up men, but I couldn't give up chocolate.
 -- I have a sweet tooth, but I also have a mind.
 -- It's unbelievable that people in America are eating 40 pounds of sugar a year.
 -- I don't believe in diets. I DO believe in trying to eat wisely and eating good food.
 -- If you can cut down putting sugar on things, you're way ahead of the game
 -- When I sit down to make a choice, I choose EQUAL.
 -- EQUAL just fits right into my lifestyle. It taste good.
 -0- 12/28/92
 /CONTACT: Russ Klettke of The NutraSweet Co., 708-405-5076; or Jonni Hegenderfer of JSH&A, 708-241-4242/


CO: The NutraSweet Co. ST: Illinois IN: FOD SU:

AH -- NY028 -- 0096 12/28/92 13:58 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 28, 1992
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