Swine flu name makes pig fans sick

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

After pork producers and Israeli officials complained about the name "swine flu," world health authorities have come up with a new name for the pending pandemic: "the other white flu."

Variations on that joke have been flying around the Internet for days, but to Brian Gansmann, who was on the team at Bozell, the Chicago ad agency that created "The Other White Meat" slogan for the National Pork Board, the fact that some people think pigs make you sick is no laughing matter. (See Jason Sheehan's screed on the subject here.)

In fact, as soon as he heard about people blaming the noble swine for the flu, Gansmann went out and bought a couple of pork tenderloins."Pork is on par with the boneless, skinless chicken breast when it comes to fat, calories and cholesterol," he says, like the good ad man he used to be. (He's now in the food business full-time.)

Bozell came up with "The Other White Meat" line to rebrand pork about fifteen years ago, and it was an instant hit, Gansmann remembers. The slogan had 87 percent awareness -- which meant that when you said "pork" to a hundred people, 87 would respond with "The Other White Meat." Only Allstate ("You're in good hands") tested higher. And the slogan's usefulness has not diminished, as evidenced by postings on The Daily Pork, the industry web site that's devoting considerable resources to exploding swine flu myths. Even if it takes calling the illness "the other white flu" to do it.

After all, Gansmann says, "I'd rather have the joke going around than the flu."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.