January 9, 1997 in Nation/World

Woman’s Acid Test Has Sweet Ending Pepcid Ac Testimonial Makes Paul Harvey Show

By The Spokesman-Review
 

One woman here is all fired up about antacid.

So much so, her message of praise for one particular brand was broadcast across the nation by radio commentator Paul Harvey.

Yvonne Berry was so pleased with Pepcid AC that she sent a letter to its manufacturer about a year ago. The computer-generated note featured a pink heart and fancy fonts, all saluting the settling qualities of Pepcid.

Johnson & Johnson called her back - the company loved the note. It wanted to use the letter in an advertisement someday.

Sure, said Berry. After all, she got a $10 coupon out of the deal. “Which was great,” she said. “I use Pepcid every day.”

The letter idea came to her when she saw a magazine ad plugging Pepcid. It featured notes from other folks.

“‘Testimonials,’ they call it,” Berry remembered.

After a year, she forgot all about the letter she had sent.

But during Harvey’s “News and Comment” radio show Monday morning, he read part of the message.

“Page two,” Harvey segued. “Yvonne Berry from A-thawl, Idaho, wrote in to me … in big letters, she wrote across the top, ‘I LOVE PEPCID AC!”’

“Yeah, I did!” said Berry, who hasn’t heard the broadcast. “At the top, I put a heart and a big banner.”

Her enthusiasm makes sense when she tells the rest of the story. Berry, at age 16, was diagnosed with late-stage Hodgkin’s disease, which is a type of cancer.

The radiation treatment made her sick, and she has had stomach problems ever since.

At the time, doctors told her that her chances of survival were slim. They also said she wouldn’t have children.

Now 31, Berry is married, has two children, and is a dog breeder.

“She’s seen a lot,” said her husband, Mike Berry. “She’s beaten the odds.”

She first found a free sample of the antacid in the mail last year, she said, and has been acid-free ever since.

But why did the letter stay in limbo for so long?

“We receive a great volume of mail,” said June Westgaard, Harvey’s secretary at his offices in Chicago. Johnson & Johnson advertises on Harvey’s show.

“We do use testimonials … the company seems to feel it is (effective),” she said.

When Westgaard heard of Berry’s surprise at being on the radio, she sounded worried. “Is there a problem … was she pleased?”

No reason for the radio people to get their stomachs tied in knots over it. Berry just wishes she’d heard Harvey’s spiel herself.

“I kind of wish I could get a copy of the program or something,” she said.

“It’s something good to start the new year off with. It’s fun to be famous for a day.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo


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