USOC peddles Pepto-Bismol

Wed, Nov 18, 2009


Since we are members of the press, it stands to reason that we get lots of press releases.

But one I received yesterday, originating from our very own United States Olympic Committee, and provided by a helpful reader, is a minor masterpiece of the art.

It contains all of the elements of the classic press release, i.e.:

  • Fake enthusiasm. Does anyone seriously think that our Olympic ath-a-letes are quivering with joy at the very thought of oinking down some li’l pink pills for acid indigestion?
  • Frequent product mentions. 11 mentions in less than 400 words-that’s right up there with with the most annoying TV pitchmen.
  • Endorsement from C-level celebrity. Sasha Cohen.
  • Fake news. Disaster avoided as chewable tabs arrive just in time!

And although the unfortunate writer of the release may not realize it, so inherently bizarre that it could be a Saturday Night Live routine. Can you imagine Tina Fey archly reciting the fourth paragraph-especially the diarrhea, gas, and belching part?

Here’s the release. Read it for yourself.

“Pepto-Bismol® Helps Team USA Keep Their Cool at 2010 Olympic Winter Games In

Vancouver; New Pepto-Bismol Chewables with InstaCoolTM Arrives Just In Time to Send U.S. athletes on their way to competition.

by Lindsay DeWall – U.S. Olympic Committee (719) 866-4529)

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. – As part of Procter & Gamble Co.’s sponsorship of Team USA at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Pepto-Bismol® announced today it will provide all Team USA members with new Pepto-Bismol Chewable Tablets with InstaCoolTM.

Pepto-Bismol Chewable Tablets with InstaCool technology is an innovative new product that provides an instant cooling sensation to signify relief is on the way.

“We know that no one wants to be slowed down by stomach upsets, especially these athletes who may only have a few minutes to execute a medal-winning performance,” said Brand Manager Nathan Fox. “Pepto-Bismol Chewable Tablets with InstaCool technology will help these athletes keep their cool, focus on the task at hand and not let common stomach issues get in the way.”

Pepto-Bismol is the leading choice for people who are looking for one solution to multiple common stomach symptoms such as nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, gas, belching, and traveler’s diarrhea.

“There are many reasons an athlete may suffer from stomach upsets,” said Dr. James Moeller, USOC Chief Medical Officer. “Travel and foods can cause stomach upsets that may keep our athletes from achieving their goals during competition. It’s comforting to be able to offer them a quality product that combats their stomach symptoms and helps them live their dream.”

Pepto-Bismol is also partnering with Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen as she returns to the ice with the hopes of joining Team USA in Vancouver.

“I’ve got so much going on everyday with managing my hectic practice and competition schedule as I prepare to qualify for Vancouver, so when stomach problems hit, I need a product that I know is going to work,” Cohen said. “The cooling sensation of this new Pepto-Bismol lets me know relief is on the way so I can get back to my busy schedule.”

Cohen and Pepto-Bismol encourage consumers to enter the Pepto InstaCool Sweepstakes* for a chance to win a 5-day/4-night trip to Vancouver to cheer on Team USA with some of the most sought-after event tickets at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.”

Thanks, Lindsay – it brightened our day! And how ‘bout a nice press release highlighting the benefits of your urban sponsor, Colorado Springs TM? I’ll even help you write it, and here’s a start!

Come to Colorado SpringsTM and you can forget diarrhea, gas and belching! Thanks to our carefully formulated High Altitude AirTM…well, you figure out the rest.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Stuart Coppedge Says:

    Absolutely Priceless!! (Please forgive the obvious connection to another add campaign.)

  2. RJF Says:

    What next? Ex-Lax!? Now that would be a challenging release to craft or put out so to speak!

  3. PlainInSnow Says:


  4. Colorado Says:

    Does the prize money that USOC give to the 25th Olympic winners is really that much??