NEW YORK CITY — This week the most-famed dog show in America is dipping its toes into new opportunities to increase revenue and viewership by allowing some sponsors to advertise on the dogs themselves.
Led by Purina, a subsidiary of Nestlé, a coalition of brands successfully lobbied the 143-year old organization to allow selected tasteful logos to be airbrushed directly onto the canine contestants for this year’s show in February.
“We were frustrated that the most important aspect of the event, the sponsors’ logos, were relegated to the literal sidelines,” Karl Seiler, director of domestic marketing for Purina. “At the same time, we saw that spectators were having trouble distinguishing entrants of the same breed, so it seemed like a natural benefit for everyone to jazz these poodles up a bit.”
“I’m a traditionalist,” says Ida Wilson, head judge of this year’s Best-in-Show event. “The problem is that dogs really only come in like three colors anyway, so I can never tell which one is which. So unless they start breeding Rainbow Retrievers or terriers with racing stripes, this is the best way to keep everyone interested and bring a few extra shekels through the door.”