The Meat and Livestock Commission is finally to tackle the beef crisis
head on with a hard-hitting TV, press and poster campaign by BMP DDB.
A quality standard for minced beef, launched on Thursday, will be backed
by a national press campaign next week. TV and poster work will break in
The TV ads, lauding the virtues of British mince, were originally due to
run in March. However, two days before the campaign was set to break,
Stephen Dorrell, the Health Minister, admitted to Parliament that there
could be a connection between CJD, BSE and British beef.
The admission threw the beef industry into crisis, and the campaign was
pulled. But, as confidence in British beef is gradually being restored,
the MLC felt that the time was right to confront the image problem
facing minced beef.
The MLC has poured extra funds into the media budget and into
supplementary press and poster executions to create a pounds 2.5 million
Chris Lamb, the consumer marketing manager of the MLC, said: ‘We could
have taken the soft route and addressed the problem through warm
statements about beef, and hoped the message filtered down to mince. But
we have decided to go straight to the problem.’
The quality stamp, in the shape of a rosette, is designed to reassure
customers that all meat carrying the mark is offal free, and comes from
regular cuts of prime cattle under 30 months old.
First on TV will be a 20-second spot explaining the new stamp, and then
the full 50-second ad, written and art directed by John Webster, the BMP
executive creative director, will follow.
It features a teenage boy having a bad day. He wakes up to find a spot
on the end of his nose, he can’t decide how to wear his hair, or whether
his shirt should be in or out. At school, he forgets his trunks, so
can’t go swimming, and in a physics lesson the mixture in his test-tube
turns blue when his classmates’ are yellow.
When he gets home his mum saves the day by cooking his favourite meal,
cottage pie. However, there’s another disappointment in store as his
father comes down the stairs wearing his shirt hanging out, causing the
boy to regret his sartorial decision.