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For Mike and Ike, parting is such sweet (and maybe lucrative) sorrow

This news story was published on April 14, 2012.
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By Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — The pair’s split, like many high-profile break-ups, has been public and messy.

Mike and Ike, a staple at movie theater concession stands and grocery store check-outs, called it quits.

The announcement came through the candy’s Facebook page last week, and also announced on Tumblr and Twitter.

“Yes, it’s true,” the announcement read. “We should have seen it coming.”

Oh, the made-up heartache.

With the stunt, the candy maker, Just Born Inc., which also makes Peeps and Hot Tamales, is pumping $15 million into a yearlong advertising campaign, a spokeswoman confirmed — a big jump from 2011 when the company spent $125,000 on advertising. The campaign revolves around whether the pair will reconcile.

In the meantime, boxes of the candy carrying the pair’s name sport seemingly hand-drawn scribbles that cross out the name of Mike or Ike — depending on which of the two is writing.

“The packaging? OK, I admit I started it,” writes Ike on Tumblr. “I mean, if he wasn’t going to agree on my new design, then what was I gonna do?”

Since the break-up, Ike is now working on his art. Mike on his music.

“So over it,” writes Mike. “Instead of all this hassle, now I’m just gonna jam. Been laying down heat with my friend Blaze. Planning to hit all the music capitals in the next few months.”

As news spread, celebrities like the NBA’s Lamar Odom, who knows something about messy split-ups, weighed in on a YouTube video produced for the campaign.

“Mike without Ike just doesn’t seem possible,” Odom says, appearing somber about the news.

Just Born, based in Bethlehem, Pa., introduced the candy in 1940. The privately owned company does not disclose annual sales, a spokeswoman said, but according to Symphony IRI Group, Mike and Ike candy has annual sales of $32 million at retailers excluding Wal-Mart.

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