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Monsanto Appeals Directly To Consumers In New Ad Campaign

Monsanto launched a new national advertising campaign Wednesday that focuses on something everyone can relate to: food.

It’s part of an effort at Monsanto to improve the St. Louis-based company’s image. Earlier this year the Harris Poll on corporate reputations ranked Monsanto third worst in the country, just behind BP.

Monstanto CEO and chairman Hugh Grant said part of the company's image problem is that for too long it focused its messages solely on farmers. He said today consumers want to know more about how agriculture works.

"This is broader than simply Monsanto," Grant said. "I think the industry, in general, has done a pretty average job on the conversation on where does food come from or how it’s produced."

The campaign was put together by Paradowski Creative in St. Louis. It includes TV ads that will air on national cable networks, as well as several local stations in coastal cities. There also will be print ads in several national magazines.

Monsanto’s corporate brand lead, Jessica Simmons, said it’s the biggest effort so far to reach consumers, especially mom’s and millennials. 

"What we’ve realized over the last couple of years is that there’s really a lot of confusion about who Monsanto is and what we do on behalf of the consumer," she said. 

All the ads direct consumers to Discover.Monsanto.com, a website launched in September that encourages visitors to ask questions. Simmons said they have staff dedicated to getting the answers.

"I think consumers have a thirst to understand better where the food comes from," she said. "Monsanto is just one part of that food chain, but we’re happy to better explain our part and to better connect consumers with farmers, as well."

You can read more about Monsanto's efforts to remake it's image here.

Follow Maria on Twitter: @radioaltman

Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.