The Babe's fame did not inspire the candy's name

DEAR ABBY

June 25, 1995|By ABIGAIL VAN BUREN | ABIGAIL VAN BUREN,Universal Press Syndicate

Dear Abby: Babe Ruth and the Baby Ruth candy bar were mentioned in your April 18 column. [A letter writer erroneously quoted] the Baby Ruth commercical which is now airing as a salute to baseball legend Babe Ruth.

Abby, the candy bar was not named after Babe Ruth . . .and the commercial doesn't suggest that it was. Rather than implying that the Baby Ruth candy bar was named for the baseball hero, the TV commercial suggests that perhaps it was the secret weapon responsible for the Babe's success. Folklore has it that the candy bar was actually named after Ruth Cleveland, daughter of our 22nd president, Grover Cleveland. This is the message that Nestle has consistently communicated since acquiring the Baby Ruth business in 1989.

We appreciate the opportunity to clarify our message behind the Babe advertising campaign, and hope that you will find space in your column to correct the misinformation shared with so many of your dedicated readers worldwide.

-- Patricia Bowles,

Manager, Public Relations,

Nestle Chocolate and Confections,

Glendale, Calif.

P.S. As for the Ruth family and their feelings about the new Baby Ruth ads, Julia Ruth Stevens (daughter of "The Sultan of Swat") asked me to forward the following to you:

Dear Abby: I have enjoyed your column for many years, and read with interest the letter from the writer who thought the TV commercial indicated the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after my father.

Our whole family is excited about how the country is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Daddy's birth. It's nice to know that people of all ages still honor him. The Baby Ruth TV ad is one of the many authorized tributes to Daddy that are planned for this year.

In the TV commercials, Nestle refers to the "secret weapon" that may have led to his success. Other "secret weapons" were his generosity and sincere appreciation of his fans.

Thank you in advance for printing this letter.

-- Julia Ruth Stevens

Dear writers: I heard from a surprising number of readers who offered a variety of opinions about the origin of the Baby Ruth candy bar name.

Some said it was named after the granddaughter of the president of the company that introduced it. Others claimed it was called "Baby Ruth" instead of "Babe Ruth" to avoid paying royalties to the Ruth family.

2& Thank you for your clarifications.

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