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Wisconsin woman fights new Panera chicken marketing campaign

Wisconsin woman fights new Panera chicken marketing campaign

By Jaclyn Brandt. CREATED Jul 31, 2013

MILWAUKEE - A woman from Wisconsin is fighting back against a new Panera ad campaign that she says disparages farmers.

The campaign, named EZChicken, is meant to promote "antibiotic-free chicken." The mascot is a chicken that looks like a pill, signifying the antibiotics.

DairyCarrie.com, a blog written by a self-described farmer, wrote about the new campaign.

“'All natural' and 'Antibiotic free' chicken," Carrie wrote on her blog. "Well Ok…. What exactly does that mean? I mean all chicken must meet the standards that the USDA has in place for antibiotic withholding, regardless of production practices. At first when I saw this I just started to shake my head. Another company using a label that implies that other choices are bad or dangerous is nothing new or earth shattering. I would have let it go, I mean labels like yours are a dime a dozen these days. But when I posted on my facebook page about it, someone informed me of your new marketing campaign."

“Hard work pays off eventually. But lazy pays off now,” the campaign reads, talking about farmers who use antibiotics.

Carrie goes on in her blog post to talk about the things she has done with antibiotics to save her animals, or help heal them from illnesses.

The blogger later said Panera chief marketing officer Michael Simon gave her call, saying he didn't mean to offend America's farmers or ranchers.

"Michael believes very much that Panera’s chicken is better," Carrie wrote. "What I got from our conversation is that while he personally doesn’t understand all of the facts behind animal ag production, he has seen lots of information that supports Panera’s viewpoint."

The posts have since gone viral, and Panera has pulled down the Twitter account for the EZChicken campaign.