WASHINGTON — The American Plastics Council wants to boost advertising spending by $1.5 million next year — to $21 million — but finding the money continues to be controversial among member firms, a top APC official said.
APC President Ron Yocum told a meeting of the Plastic Bag Association in Arlington, Va., on May 7 that the spending increase will help APC maintain public opinion ratings of plastics. Plastics ratings slipped compared with competing materials in polling APC did late last year.
Spending the money remains a subject of ``continued controversy'' at the APC board, said Yocum, who until he officially took over the top staff job at APC in March was president and chief executive officer at Millennium Petrochemicals Inc, and chairman of APC, based in Washington.
``[Companies] will spend $800 million on a new ethylene cracker but I tease them that if I ask them to spend $2 million on advertising, they go ballistic,'' Yocum told members of New York-based PBA.
APC board members expect to take up the spending issue at their next meeting, June 2-3.
Even as APC spends more on ads, it is finding that it gets less for its dollar because the cost of advertising is rising dramatically, Yocum said. The $21 million APC plans to spend next year will cover 45 percent less advertising than that it would have four years ago, he said.
If APC wanted to raise plastics' rating above competing materials in public opinion, rather than just keeping it at comparable levels, it would cost $50 million to $60 million a year, he said. APC spent $17 million last year on advertising.
Yocum said polling shows that people like plastics but ``but feel guilty as hell about using them.''
The public also does not distinguish between different types of plastics and, if they do not like one type of plastic, others get tarred with that brush, he said.