Waitrose postpones TV debut due to foot and mouth disease

Waitrose, the upmarket supermarket chain, has postponed its debut as a TV advertiser because of the foot and mouth crisis.

Waitrose, the upmarket supermarket chain, has postponed its debut as a TV advertiser because of the foot and mouth crisis.

Three commercials, two of which feature cows and lambs, should have gone on air next Wednesday. Instead, their screening has been delayed for a month.

John Banks, the chairman of Banks Hoggins O'Shea/ FCB, which produced the commercials, said the agency and its client were agreed that it would be inappropriate to run the campaign while the animals were being slaughtered and burned.

At the same time, the bookmaker William Hill has postponed a two-way pitch for a campaign to attract more occasional punters into its 1,500 betting shops, while the immediate future of horse-racing in Britain remains uncertain.

Elsewhere, however, the outbreak has failed to disrupt advertising plans with McDonald's, the Meat & Livestock Commission and the National Dairy Council expected not to pull campaigns.

A Meat & Livestock Commission spokesman said: 'This is the rump end of the year for us as far as advertising is concerned. Lamb sales aren't up and running yet, and it's a bit early for barbecues. Our activity doesn't start until April when, hopefully, the situation will be different.'

Chris Cowpe, the joint managing director of BMP DDB, whose clients include the Commission and the NDC, said: 'At the moment everybody is trying to maintain a business and it's better to make these judgments once the scale and the extent of the outbreak is known.'


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