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American ingenuity and W Ketchup
by Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor,
July 21, 2004
New York Banker, Bill Zachary and 14 associates have begun to market a new brand of ketchup in the U.S.--W Ketchup. Although the "W" purportedly stands for George Washington, Zachary and his group are pro-Bush and are selling the new product as an alternative to that produced by Heinz, the company associated with Democratic presidential contender John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
With the slogan "You dont support Democrats. Why should your ketchup?" approximately 50,000 bottles have been ordered since it went on the market two weeks ago. The company proclaimed that while Heinz has 57 varieties they also have 57 foreign factories; W ketchup on the other hand is wholly made in the U.S.A. Described by Zachary as being "less vinegary and more tomatoey" than its famous competitor, W Ketchup has raised the ire of the Democratic hopefuls wife and the H. J. Heinz company. A spokesperson for Mrs. Kerry has said only about 4 per cent of her stock consists of H. J. Heinz shares. W Ketchup countered this by saying that 4 per cent of her portfolio is "a ton of money". A spokesperson for the H. J. Heinz Company has said that W Ketchups campaign is based upon falsehoods and has defamed American workers. Methinks they doth protest too much.
Five per cent of the $3.00 purchase price is donated to the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund. The fund, begun in 1990 by Oliver North, provides scholarships for children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been killed, permanently disabled or have been certified as POWs or MIAs.
Upon hearing the news of the donation, Freedom Alliances president, Tom Kilgannon exclaimed, "hot dog" and further stated, "We relish the opportunity to be involved with such a great product and a great team."
The introduction and marketing of W Ketchup is classic American free enterprise. Although the entire campaign is to gain support for George W. Bush in November, a similar promotion could have undoubtedly been thought up by Kerry supporters.
It is difficult to believe that the production and sale of a product such as W Ketchup during an election campaign could ever be done in Canada. There is no doubt that there are Canadians who are bright enough to come up with a concept like the American ketchup campaign. But while the ballots from the election were being counted, those who thought up the campaign would still be chuckling about their idea over double lattes and martinis. And of course, in this country no one would do something like this without first applying for a government grant. There would be the lengthy delay for the grant that would never come unless the applicants were all good Liberals and the object of the campaign would be those dangerous and un-Canadian Conservatives.
The W Ketchup campaign has everything. It has humour. It has satire. It has patriotism. It has charity. Even the president of the group that is the beneficiary of the charitable portion provided humour, using words such as hot dog and relish in commenting upon the ketchup. And it has importance--being taken seriously enough to receive rebukes not only from Teresa Heinz Kerry, but from the H. J. Heinz Company.
This is a perfect example the kind of thing that separates the United States and Americans from the rest of the world. And the ketchup probably tastes good too.
W Ketchup can be ordered through the companys website at www.wketchup.com.