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Sweeting Corn Syrup's Public Image
The Corn Refiners Association launched an 18-month, $20 to $30 million public relations and advertising campaign "to convince consumers that HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] isn't the evil it has been made out to be." The industry group is running ads in major newspapers -- under the banner "time for a little food for thought" -- that say HFCS has the "same natural sweeteners as table sugar and honey." The campaign, which was created by the Omnicom Group firm DDB, also includes television and online ads and "phone and in-person conversations with influential mommy bloggers." The Corn Refiners Association "has been trying to counter the bad publicity around HFCS since 2004," but concluded it "could no longer afford to rely on simple grass-roots marketing tactics such as talking with nutritionists and doctors." Major food and beverage producers, such as Kraft, are now promoting products as HFCS-free. The American Medical Association recently concluded that HFCS "doesn't appear to contribute more to obesity than other caloric sweeteners," but called for "further independent research."