Monday, February 4, 2013
Media's Coverage of the Pillbury Bake-Off
This is great background for the book chapter I am writing about the intersection between food advertisers and food editors. The Pillsbury Bake-Off was often newsworthy but some editors were worried about offering free advertising.
For example, in 1971, at the Louisville Courier Journal, the editor noted that the $25,000 prize at the time made the Pillsbury Bake-off newsworthy. Yet, the newspaper did not want to provide free publicity so the name "Pillsbury" was not used in the story. Interestingly, the statement was made at a food editors conference that Pillsbury sponsored. Here is a story about it.
New York Times' food editor Jane Nickerson wrote about the first Pillsbury Bake-Off - before it even had that name.
In another connection, it was not unusual for a newspaper food editors to serve as judges of the competition. One example was Phoenix food editor Carol McCready Hartley who judged the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1969. Here is more about her.