Beef Ban Lifted: The selling of the British cow

LIFTING the export ban on British beef is one thing. Getting consumers across Europe to eat it is another. How, for example, do you say it is completely safe to eat beef without hinting at the possibility that it might have been potentially life threatening in the first place?

That was just one of the issues confronting several London advertising agencies briefed yesterday by The Independent to produce, in just a few hours, a campaign that would tempt the continent. Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper came up with two approaches. According to creative partner Mark Wnek, one ("We're still mad. Our beef isn't.") attempts to diffuse the fears surrounding the product by dealing with them directly. This was the agency's choice.

The second ("For the perfect joint of beef, grill thoroughly for two years") is a more scholarly" pitch which would allow some scope for explaining the controls in place. But the common theme is humour. "The best route, route one, is to dismiss it all with humour, to diffuse the situation and accentuate the positive feelings about beef," said Mr Wnek.

"If you try to be too sensible you will end up with something very technical and serious, which, as far as food is concerned, would leave a bad taste in the mouth." Murray Chick, planning director of Walsh Trott Chick Smith, believes it is best not to advertise at all. "You don't want to admit there was a problem in the first place," he said.

"Beef should sneak back into Europe rather than have a spotlight shone on it. If a client was to insist on a campaign, then the practical, sensible, grown up way would be to focus on selling on all beef and not just British. If you wanted to be braver still, then the only way to do it is with humour."

Mark Robinson, marketing director of J Walter Thompson, said he would be tempted to steer clear of the safety issue altogether. "British farming has a good heritage - modern equipment, rolling fields. I would play up the Britishness of the farming landscape, the fine countryside, the free range herds."

There are as yet no immediate plans for a high profile advertising campaign. "We do not have a mammoth marketing plan on the stocks waiting to go," explained spokesman for the Meat and Livestock Commission. "We didn't know when the ban would be lifted and in any case most people agree that a quiet approach is more effective than a mega ad campaign."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Floyd Mayweather will relinquish his five world titles after beating Manny Pacquiao
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Tottenham legend Jimmy Greaves has defended fans use of the word 'Yid'
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living