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WHITMAN CORP. ANNOUNCES MIDAS PLANS

 CHICAGO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Whitman Corp. (NYSE: WH) announced today that its subsidiary, Midas International, has initiated a major reorganization designed to increase sales, market share, and profitability. Midas has also initiated a new marketing program, with a series of TV commercials based on testimonials which emphasize quality and service.
 As a result of the reorganization, which takes effect immediately, Midas will:
 -- create four divisions in the U.S., each headed by a divisional vice president; in each division specialists will work with franchisees in marketing, expansion, and planning.
 -- expand training in technical areas and customer service.
 -- upgrade and expand information systems.
 -- consolidate marketing and marketing administration at the corporate level.
 -- establish three new senior positions of program director for exhaust, brakes, and suspension/alignment to direct task forces in each of these areas.
 John R. Moore, president and chief executive officer of Midas, said, "With this new structure we'll be closer to our franchisees and our customers. We'll be able to respond faster to changes in the marketplace, and tailor our service programs to the specialized needs of different areas of the country."
 Moore added, "We expect this will result in significant improvements in sales and profitability for Midas and its franchisees over the next few years."
 The new advertising campaign features case histories that drive home the message that customers can trust Midas to provide quality service when it is required. The tag line for the commercials: "The Midas Way -- the way it should be."
 "This industry has gotten a bum rap for poor service and unethical behavior over the years," said Moore. "At Midas, we have always stressed quality, value, and customer service. We were first with lifetime guarantees on our products. We developed a standards of service manual which has become a model for the industry. And we provide more than 120,000 student hours of training for our people each year.
 "Our new TV spots promote this commitment to deliver the best service in the industry. They will give Midas a very significant competitive advantage in the marketplace."
 Midas plans on spending over $70 million for advertising and promotion again in 1993.
 "Whitman is investing in Midas' future," said Bruce S. Chelberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Whitman. "The new organization and new marketing programs will benefit customers, franchisees, and our shareholders."
 -0- 04/06/93
 /CONTACT: Whitman Corp., corporate communications, 708-818-5000/
 (WH)


CO: Whitman Corp.; Midas International ST: Illinois IN: AUT SU:

AH -- NY053 -- 3515 04/06/93 15:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 6, 1993
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