Dairy foods retailer Arla Foods is seeking to return to Middle Eastern supermarket shelves by way of an active marketing approach.

Arab consumers have boycotted the Danish company for the past two months, in protest against cartoons depicting the profit Mohammed published in Danish newspapers.

Full-page advertisements in 25 Arab newspapers on Sunday will attempt to redress the situation, primarily by reiterating Arla’s dissociation from the cartoons and also by outlining its 40-year history in the Middle East.

The advertisements will emphasise that Arla’s business in the Middle East has been affected not by its own actions, but because of the actions of others, begging consumers to reconsider their attitude towards the company.

The boycott of Arla products in the Middle East is estimated to cost the company DKK400m (US$65m) by the end of 2006.

Arla Foods executive director Finn Hansen said: “We hope that the advertisement will get Arab consumers to consider whether it is fair to boycott a dairy company that has had nothing to do with these caricatures.”