The fledgling U.S. Poultry & Egg Association embarked on an awareness drive in the 1930’s. It was originally called The Poultry Breeders of America and its motto was to serve the mutual interests of poultry breeders by promoting the virtues of the chicken.
It sought to establish its presence in the life of Egg eating Americans’ promoting of U.S. poultry and egg products. One of its great wheezes was to create chicken generated entertainment at all the great State fairs. coast to coast. Way before the invention of Chicken costumes, KFC and McNuggets, the forward thinking chicken producers demonstrated a keen understanding of branded content. The brainwave was to book the world famous juggler Massimiliano Truzzi. His mission was to juggle chickens and eggs while some hapless soul provided a running commentary, and at the same time handing out nutritional information about chicken and eggs, as well as helpful recipes. The pre-promotion worked well, the first engagement at the Tallahassee Fair generated acres of cuttings.
The local paper, The Leon County News saw the act and proclaimed it “as wondrous and a marvel to behold.” Unfortunately it was all downhill after that as Truzzi never made it to the second engagement because of an allergic reaction to the chickens. Overnight the chicken feathers caused allergic rhino conjunctivitis, a common malady that usually occurs during the pollen season. The performer was dosed up for the second gig but was so ill, he couldn’t be persuaded to play the booked gigs.
The promotion was scrapped and paper clippings out the scapegoat, Herb Eavers the PR man who came up with the original idea. He was unceremoniously hung out to dry. Later, Eavers went on to work as a freelance movie publicist and managed to turn the infamy of the failed chicken promotion into a mark of creativity.