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DID GENERAL MILLS TELL NBA: "BETTER SUPPORT YOUR WHEATIES?"
Published June 18, 1998
The NBA said yesterday that it "has stopped Kellogg from issuing" a Corn Flakes box featuring the NBA champion Bulls on its front because Michael Jordan is a spokesperson for General Mills' Wheaties, according to Lee Egerstrom of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Earlier this month, the NBA and Kellogg announced an agreement naming Kellogg the NBA's breakfast-food sponsor and the "plan" was for Kellogg to manufacture a Corn Flakes box featuring the NBA champs, whoever it happened to be. But Egerstrom reports that the NBA decided against the Corn Flakes box, "apparently to avoid possible legal battles" with General Mills. General Mills spokesperson David Dix said the company has not had contact with either Kellogg or the league. Egerstrom adds that the loss of a Bulls' Corn Flakes box could cost Kellogg "as much as" $6.25M in lost sales (PIONEER PRESS, 6/18). THE BASS MAN: General Mills will manufacture more than two million Wheaties boxes featuring the winner of the Bass fishing Forrest L. Wood Tour, ending today in CT. The boxes will be available in stores in October (USA TODAY, 6/18). AIR QUALITY: CA-based ad agency Spencer Communications will pay an unspecified amount to settle a lawsuit over a magazine ad for NC-based Fountain Powerboats, which mentions Michael Jordan, according to a court document. Agents for Jordan "demanded" $1M, saying the advertisement "constituted trademark infringement and diluted the value of Jordan's name" (AP/Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/18)....Larry Miller, the newly named President of Nike's Jordan Brand division, will oversee the transition of the brand into a separate unit by August 1. The line projects $350M in gross revenue in '98. Miller said that he did not have specifics of new product development, the orientation of the new company or any additional hiring (Portland OREGONIAN, 6/18).