Still Good to the Last Word

Summary: Beginning April 19, Maxwell House is modifying the ingredients of an advertising tradition that dates back to the early 1930s. And while it won’t be noticeable in their coffee, it will be in their copy, when families (including the White House in past years) sit down during their holiday meal to read from a classic book that has been offered free at supermarkets with purchase of Maxwell House coffee since the ’30s. In fact, as fast as you can say move over to the “existing 50 million copies” already in print, new ones will be replacing the old, just in time for the start of Passover on April 19. Yet even more surprising than efforts to overhaul a giveaway during less-than-stellar economic times is the question of why a coffee company became involved in producing a religious product (that was offered free with purchase) in the first place.