Saturday, December 13, 2008

Former First Lady Barbara Bush to replace William Penn in Quaker Oats logo

By Darnell Washington, Newsophile Staff Writer

CHICAGO, IL -- Food conglomerate The Quaker Oats Company, a unit of PepsiCo, has announced that a likeness of former First Lady Barbara Bush will soon replace that of William Penn, the Quaker and original founder of Pennsylvania who has graced the company's oatmeal boxes since 1877. Although the company has no formal ties to the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers, when it was formed in the 1800s a company founder decided upon the name after reading about the Quakers' emphasis on honesty, purity and truth.

"With the United States and the world changing so quickly, we decided it was time for Quaker Oats to catch up," said Robert S. Morrison, Quaker Oats' President and CEO. "And what better modern face to represent our emphasis on a healthy colon than Barbara Bush?"

For the former First Lady, however, the decision to join the famous brand was not an easy one. "They've been trying to talk me into doing this ever since my husband was first sworn in as President," she recently told Advertising Age magazine. "But as the years have gone by and my resemblance to William Penn has become increasingly obvious, I finally relented and told the folks at Quaker Oats that I'd sign on as soon as GW was out of office. I just hope they'll let me wear my pearls!"

For now, the company will continue airing spots with well-known senior Wilford Brimley, although Ms. Bush hints at an expanded role for her with Quaker. "That codger's time is up," she recently told The Houston Chronicle. "It's time to offer some Bush for breakfast!"