NPR logo Writer Credited With Breakthrough Charmin 'Don't Squeeze' Slogan Dies

Writer Credited With Breakthrough Charmin 'Don't Squeeze' Slogan Dies

"Please don't squeeze the Charmin," words that helped propel the Procter & Gamble toilet paper brand to the top of the heap in 1969. The memorable line is credited to John Chervokas, a junior copywriter at Benton & Bowles in 1964 when the idea first came to him.

Chervokas, who went on to a long career in advertising, died in New York City this past weekend at the age of 74 after suffering a stroke.

The Charmin advertising campaign for which Chervokas is remembered featured Mr. Whipple, a character who entered the pop-culture cannon right in step with the catchy phrase. The AP explains:

"The campaign featured television commercials in which a supermarket employee, Mr. Whipple, was assigned to keep shoppers from squeezing the Charmin. Whipple, played by actor Dick Wilson, became one of TV's best-known characters. And Charmin became the best-selling toilet paper by 1969, Procter & Gamble Co. said."

"Advertising Age said it was among the top 100 campaigns of the 20th century."

After his advertising days were over, Chervokas went into politics and won election to the post of town supervisor in Ossining, N.Y., in 1997. He was re-elected five times.

His notoriety to the wider world, however, will always be tied to Charmin.




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.