WASHINGTON — The vinyl industry plans to spend at least $1 million in the next year on an advertising and market-boosting campaign to promote the benefits of PVC, rather than only responding to attacks.
Print and television ads began rolling out the week of Nov. 16 in the Washington market, and will follow in other markets, said Fred Krause, who is spearheading the joint Chlorine Chemistry Council and Vinyl Institute campaign. Krause is retired from Geon Co. in Avon Lake, Ohio, as director of environmental solutions.
Advertisements are one leg of the campaign, and Krause said the CCC and VI also are working with trade groups like the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association in Dallas and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association in Palatine, Ill., on PVC-boosting activities.
But he declined to be specific about what those will consist of or what specific messages the ads will push, except to say that the campaign will be organized around PVC markets, such as construction, medical and toys.
The campaign has been in the works for several months, and will not deal directly with specific problems like the recent decision by Toys R Us to pull from its shelves some PVC toys that contain phthalates, he said.
The industry announcement comes as companies such as Nike, Mattel Corp. and Little Tikes are making high-profile decisions either to phase out PVC or phthalates, which are used as softeners.
``What it boils down to is the chlorine and vinyl industry decided we needed to be more proactive,'' said Krause. ``Instead of continuing to just defend on the issues, we want to talk about the benefits of the products.''
The campaign is not focusing on the general public, but on people who make material-selection decisions or help determine public policy.
The industry has done some opinion surveys of both the public and those decison makers, and discovered that most people do not know very much about vinyl, Krause said. When the benefits are explained, people grow more supportive, he said. He said most decision makers say they are shying away from PVC or phthalates because they are worried about consumer attitudes.
The Washington effort will include ads in the Washington Post; Roll Call, a political newspaper in the capital; National Review; and ads on cable television.
The effort in the United States comes after a yearlong ad campaign by the German PVC industry. That industry spends about US$3 million a year.