Ben & Jerry’s Launches "Get the Dough out of Politics" Campaign
Ice Cream Maker Unveils 2012 Social Mission Effort & Election Year Makeover for Colbert’s Pint as the New AmeriCone Dream.
BURLINGTON, Vt.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the evening of one of the company’s most successful celebrity flavors’ 5th birthday, Ben & Jerry’s launched its newest social mission quest with a focus to Get the Dough Out of Politics. “This is the new version of the AmeriCone Dream,” said Ben & Jerry’s CEO, Jostein Solheim. “Since it involves corporations, money, and politicians we felt it was only fitting to do so with a new SUPERPACK pint design on Stephen Colbert’s flavor – and on AmeriCone Dream’s fifth anniversary.”
“’We feel that the time is now, during an election year, and that this is the major issue to highlight as the NEW American dream”
Fans have hungrily lapped up the Colbert-approved concoction since the February 14, 2007 kick off. In that original press release Colbert penned that he was proud to bring some balance to the freezer section versus Ben & Jerry’s usual progressive efforts. Now, the ice cream makers themselves are out to find some balance. This time, it’s specifically about money in politics, and a corresponding consumer campaign to take action at www.GetTheDoughOut.org
"Let me be clear, I have nothing to do with GetTheDoughOut.org and none of my ice cream money will go to support this treasonous organization,” said Stephen Colbert. “Ice cream should not be about politics it should be about fudge covered waffle cones."
Taking a stand on issues is nothing new for Ben & Jerry’s. The company officially supported the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. It is in that same inspiration that it chose to leverage its voice to make a statement… and hopefully make a difference in 2012. “We’re speaking on behalf of the 99%, using our pulpit as an activist company to highlight the fact that things are topsy-turvy,” added Solheim. Ben & Jerry’s is shining the spotlight on how big corporate money has come to influence elections, and that the company disagrees with how officials are elected in that manner.
The ice cream makers reached out to grassroots activist groups Free Speech for People and (the American Sustainable Business Council’s organization) Businesses for Democracy as partners in the campaign. Jointly they hope to increase public awareness of the need for fundamental reforms that will reduce or eliminate undue corporate influence in the democratic process - and to channel this awareness into action. The main focus of the online petition calls on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that overturns Citizens United and gets the money out of politics.
“’We feel that the time is now, during an election year, and that this is the major issue to highlight as the NEW American dream,” said Solheim. The Ben & Jerry’s Chief acknowledged that they company has its work cut out for itself. To raise awareness the new GET THE DOUGH OUT message would be launched and prominently featured on the special, election year packaging for Colbert’s flavor as well as on Ben & Jerry’s website and included in mobile grassroots efforts across the country. To sweeten the deal, Ben & Jerry’s is giving away free AmeriCone Dream ice cream scoops in participating Scoop Shops across the country on Colbert’s flavor anniversary February 14, from 5 – 8 pm. Now that puts the free in freedom.
For more information on Ben & Jerry’s or to find your local Scoop Shop, visit www.benjerry.com.
About Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and ice cream novelties, using high-quality ingredients including milk and cream from family farmers who do not treat their cows with the synthetic hormone rBGH. The company states its position on rBGH* on its labels. Ben and Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. Contributions made via the employee-led Ben & Jerry’s Foundation in 2011 totaled $1.98 million. Additionally, the company makes significant product donations to community groups and nonprofits both in Vermont and across the nation. The purpose of Ben & Jerry’s philanthropy is to support the founding values of the company: economic and social justice, environmental restoration and peace through understanding, and to support our Vermont communities. For the full scoop on all Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop locations and fabulous flavors, visit www.benjerry.com.
* The FDA has said no significant difference has been shown and no test can now distinguish between milk from rBGH treated cows and untreated cows. Not all the suppliers of our other ingredients can promise that the milk they use comes from untreated cows.
About Free Speech For People
Free Speech For People (FSFP) is a national, non-partisan campaign seeking to restore democracy to the people and to ensure that people, not corporations, govern in America. FSFP is dedicated to overturning, through a 28th Amendment to the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court’s January 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. FEC and a corporate rights doctrine, which threatens our elections and our self-government.
About American Sustainable Business Council
Through education and advocacy, the American Sustainable Business Council seeks to influence the creation of public policy that acknowledges the large and growing universe of sustainable and socially responsible businesses and social enterprises.
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Ben & Jerry’s
Sean Greenwood, 802-846-1500 x7701
Grand Poobah of PR
Free Speech For People (FSFP)
David Levine, 917-359-9623
American Sustainable Business Council
John C. Bonifaz, 413-253-2700