Thinning Sales Prompt Diet Candy to Change Name--Again

Ayds, the diet candy that cowers at its own name, is about to rechristen itself for the second time in less than a year.

For 47 years, the chewable diet product was named Ayds. But after sales fell nearly 40%--as the deadly AIDS virus has continued to garner more and more public attention--Ayds was test marketed in the United Kingdom earlier this year under the name Aydslim. While it will still be called Aydslim there, after Jan. 1, it will be sold in the United States under the name Diet Ayds. The company's reasoning: American consumers are attracted to the word diet.

"This might seem like a silly solution to the problem," said Robert Berglass, chairman of Dep Corp., the Rancho Dominguez company that makes Ayds. "But it's no more silly than someone at Coca-Cola saying, 'Gee, why don't we keep making Coke the way it was originally made.' "

Print ads and packaging with the new name will appear early next year, said Berglass, whose company has spent more than $200,000 over the past year trying to come up with a new name. "Sometimes," Berglass said, "solutions are not all that complicated."

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