WASHINGTON -- Clara Peller, the 4-foot-10 grandmother who bellows 'Where's the beef?' in a television advertisement, now is an honorary member of a national beef producers organization.
John Weber of Alturas, Calif., president of the National Cattlemen's Association, Wednesday proclaimed Mrs. Peller a lifetime honorary member for 'all she has done to make Americans aware of the value of beef,' and gave her a scroll and a plaque.
She delighted cattle producers who were packed into the room by frequently yelling, 'Where's the beef?' The producers yelled back in unison, 'Where's the beef?'
Mrs. Peller, who is over 80, told the cattlemen she had never visited a cattle ranch and had never been in the West, except for California. A Louisiana producer shouted an invitation for her to visit cattle operations in his state.
Mrs. Peller, a former beautician who became a folk hero after a hamburger commercial began running in January, was presented with a 25-pound hamburger topped by a regular-sized bun.
They showered her with gifts, including a branding iron with a CP brand, a cowboy hat, an apron with the words 'Beef Gives Strength' and a pink hat that says 'Beef Builds Beautiful Bodies. See Below.'
Asked if it were true she had been a vegeterian, she retorted: 'No, I was never a vegetarian. Who ever said that?'
The cattlemen, whose board of directors was meeting in Washington, passed a resolution commending the fast food firm that saw sales jump 15 percent in the first month and by 17 percent to 19 percent the second month the ad ran.
Cattlemen said sales of U.S. ground beef total about 6 billion pounds a year, or about one-third of total beef sales, and 2.5 billion pounds of it are sold in the fast food market.