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DeGeneres's Deal Signals New Direction In Endorsements

Comedienne Ellen DeGeneres, who has taken an estimated 15% stake in Halo Purely for Pets pet food, will be the new pitchwoman for its high-end dog and cat products and will look for ways to work them into her widely watched daytime talk show. To start, her face will be featured in 33 million newspaper and marketing circulars for the Petco chain and a series of in-store advertising displays promoting Halo this weekend.

The deal is an example of the unorthodox marketing agreements that celebrities are increasingly inking with companies. Rather than a straight annual endorsement fee, some celebrities and athletes look for deals that offer a bigger piece of the action.

Sales of Halo at Petco stores doubled last year due in part to the massive recall of brands using wheat gluten imported from China. The growth has come despite steep prices: A typical 12-ounce can of premium dog food sells for about $1.79; a similar can of Halo retails for $2.99.

Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

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