Poet/Growth Energy air national TV ads

By Luke Geiver
Posted April 13, 2010, at 8:28 a.m. CST

For the first time ever, the ethanol industry has a television advertising campaign. Through a six-month, $2.5 million campaign, Growth Energy will air a series of commercials promoting the benefits of ethanol on the cable networks: Fox, MSNBC, CNN and HLN. Poet LLC will also air a series of three commercials promoting ethanol.

The Growth Energy commercials appear with a simple green backdrop and flash a single statement ranging from "No beaches have been closed due to ethanol spills," or "We won't have to wait millions of years to replenish our ethanol reserves."

"For too long, we have allowed our opponents to define who we are. That ends today," said Tom Buis, Growth Energy CEO. "We cannot match the other side dollar for dollar, but that is not going to prevent us from being in the fight. Ethanol is America's fuel. Ethanol creates jobs, cleans the air and strengthens our national and economic security. These ads tell that story."

The commercials will run both in prime time and nonprime time spots during shows such as Fox News "Fox and Friends," or MSNBC's "Morning Joe." The hope by Growth Energy is to reach critical viewers on both coasts, while airing the commercials when Congress is in session. "This campaign demonstrates the leadership of Growth Energy's members, and shows a certain maturity in the ethanol industry," said Jim Nussle, a member of the board of directors for Growth Energy. "With this campaign we are talking directly to the public, in their living rooms, with a message that makes quite clear precisely why ethanol is America's fuel."

Highlighting the use of ethanol as "America's fuel," that provides national and economic security, retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, co-chairman said, "This ad campaign is designed to reach beyond the Beltway to communicate those facts about ethanol to the broader American public, people who until now have only heard one side of the story."

Buis, during the press conference to announce the launch of the television spots, also said many critics often refer to ethanol production and farming practices from the past without recognizing the industry's changes made in the past 30 years, including technology advances and more efficient farming. As for those that want to focus on energy supplies other than corn-based ethanol, Buis said, "They want to kick the can down the road to some future energy source, but we are saying that we (ethanol) are a renewable energy source for today."

On the same day that Growth Energy unveiled their television campaign, Poet also announced the release of a new series of commercials. Airing on the same cable channels as the Growth Energy spots (plus NBC), the three advertisements include one of three speakers: a scientist, an ethanol plant manager, or a farmer, each of which recite free verse poetry pertaining to their view on the importance of ethanol. Shot in New York, the commercials appear to have the same goal as the Growth Energy spots.

"Poet and the ethanol industry as a whole have a great story to tell," said Greg Breukelman, Poet senior vice president of communications. "It's time we took our message to a broader audience, and this campaign allows us to do that."

To view the Growth Energy commercial series go to http://www.growthenergy.org/news-media-center/broadcast-media/americas-fuel-campaign. To view Poet's go to http://www.youtube.com/poettv. Or, turn on the television.