Magazine article ADWEEK

Heinz in a Pickle over Politics: Company Tries to Distance Itself from Family Heiress

Magazine article ADWEEK

Heinz in a Pickle over Politics: Company Tries to Distance Itself from Family Heiress

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON The HJ Heinz Co. has found itself in a sticky situation, and it's not the ketchup that's causing the mess. Blame the more-partisan-than-usual nature of this year's election, which has prompted closer scrutiny of Teresa Heinz Kerry's connection to the Pittsburgh company.

While experts say it's a situation any business might face when a person with some link to the company gets involved in politics, the highly polarized electorate is making matters worse.

Heinz says it wants to get the facts straight. Teresa Kerry, wife of presidential contender John Kerry and heiress to the $500 million Heinz family fortune, is not involved in the company's management, said a March 22 press release sent to 50 radio and talk shows. She owns less than 4 percent of company stock.

Heinz took the step after receiving 150 calls from consumers who threatened to boycott the products or said they would buy more, depending on their politics. …

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