Help Knock Tooth
Decay Into Orbit


Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Wrigley's use of violence to promote it's new chewing gum - Orbit.

Help Knock Tooth Decay Into Orbit
This is What We Wrote to Wrigley
This Was Their Response
This Was Our Response Back
Their Final Response - Their research showed that this Orbit Advert was "enjoyed by all those who saw them "

Help Knock Tooth Decay Into Orbit

Orbit, introduced in September 2001, is Wrigley's most recent product introduction. Having recently launched in the U.S., Wrigley believes that they have another success on their hands. Orbit's U.S. advertising features "Vanessa", a perky spokesperson for the Orbit Institute. Vanessa always found herself at "the scene of the grime" in her never ending quest to prove that Orbit leaves your mouth feeling clean…no matter what. Orbit gum is already enjoyed by millions of people throughout Europe and the Middle East.

However, some of the European advertising is appearing in men's publications on U.S. newsstands, like Front magazine, which uses a more violent approach to intruduce this gum. Its selling pitch is that it contains xylitol, a natural plant extract which works with your saliva to keep teeth healthy. What that has to do with a package of gum squishing a cookie until it's insides ouze out, is beyond us. Click on the ad to see a larger version of three cookies on a plate, two with terror on their faces, as their buddy has red goo that looks like blood being squeezed out of it. The headline reads "Help knock tooth decay into orbit." How is promotes chewing gum is beyond us.

We wonder if Wrigely's stated claim of the importance of treating everyone with trust, dignity and respect. They say the Wrigley Way is "Quality, innovation and integrity." This advertising seems to have missed those lofty goals.

Let them know what you think at Also, by letter to: William Wrigley Jr., CEO and Dennis R Mally, info services, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co, Wrigley Building, 410 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. 800.874.0474 or 312.644.0015 or Fax 312.644.0015 or or, or Christopher J. Perille, Director of Corporate Communications (PR) at or Denise Young, Consumer Relations Coordinator, Advertising agency:  BBDO Chicago, 410 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611 312.337.7860 or fax 312.337.6871 Tonise Paul, President. (You can also visit Orbit in Germany at - which basically brings you back to the Wrigley US site.)

This is What We Wrote to Wrigley

Our comments to them: "Your web site claims to use a Vanessa in the campaign for Orbit but your recent ad in Stuff magaine used violence instead. We don't get what terror (on the faces of two of the cookies) with violence (their buddy being squished with blood coming out- I worked in account services at Leo Burnett for five years so I suspect the agency tried to sell the campaign as red sugar)is a bit much. We don't get the connection between the brand name, its BSI nor squished cookies. It isn't funny. What's the point? We thought that Wrigley preferted to show health and vibrance. Is this a new directoin for the company?

"We ask that you discontinue the use of this ad and any others that make light of violence. We don't know if you've kept up on crime statistics but violence is on the increase, especially among young people and adults. Why be a party to it? We'd like to know."

This Was Their Response


Dear Mr. Clay:

Thank you for visiting our web site,, to express your opinion about our ad for Orbit sugarfree gum.

Because the purpose of all Wrigley advertising is to win friends for our company and its products, we certainly like to know whenever anyone has some objection to one of our ads, and we appreciate hearing from you.

Your point of view, along with other comments we have received about this campaign, will be carefully considered when we plan future advertisements for Orbit.

Again, thank you for taking time to stop by the Wrigley web site.

Sincerely yours,

Denise Young
Consumer Relations Coordinator

This Was Our Response Back

Dear Ms. Young:

Thank-you for your immediate reply. From what you said I get the sense that the Wrigley marketing department (1) Doesn't have a back-up or other campaign in the works, (2) Is planning to continue to run "The Cookie Cruncher" ad until a new campaign is developed sometime down the road, (3) That the planned media schedule will continue with this ad and not be replaced by another Wrigley product or ad, but (4) That Wrigley will take into consideration the use of violence in "future" advertising. When do you think that will be?

We would hope that the marketing department would look at their continued use of violence now instead of sometime in the future and take responsibly for the part that your advertising might play in a culture that is already overrun by violent images. It would be great to report that Wrigley is looking at the issue NOW and will replace the ad in all remaining schedules with either a nonviolent Orbit ad or an ad for one of your many other Wrigley products.

In the words of Edward Bond, "Violence shapes and obsesses our society, and if we do not stop being violent we have no future."


Gordon Clay

Their Final Response - Their research showed that this Orbit Advert was "enjoyed by all those who saw them "

Dear Mr. Clay

Thank you for your email, sent via our Chicago Head Office, on the subject of the U.K. advertisement for Orbit with xylitol. I was very sorry to hear that this advert caused you some distress, it certainly was not our intention to offend our consumers, rather to communicate the cavity protection benefits of Orbit in an impactful and engaging way.

As with all of our advertising, the opinions of our consumers are very important which is why we conducted extensive research prior to placing these posters. The results of this research proved the advert was extremely well received and enjoyed by all those who saw them.

We hope that we have reassured you or our intentions and thank you for taking the time to write to us with your comments.

Yours sincerely,

Beverley Brown
Office & Consumer Services Manager
The Wrigley Company Limited
Estover, Plymouth, Devon, PL6 7PR

*    *    *

Contact Us | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Menstuff® Directory
Menstuff® is a registered trademark of Gordon Clay
©1996-2019, Gordon Clay