It is a well-known fact that advertisers are increasingly realising
the vital role relationship marketing can play in the marketing mix.
However, always one to be different, Ikea has gone one step further and
added relationship maintenance to its strategy.
As part of the ’make a fresh start’ campaign for Ikea, which offers
romantically challenged punters such nuggets of advice as: ’Now she’s
gone, the scheming vamp, treat yourself to a lovely lamp’, a website was
Aiming at the arse-end of kitsch, the site, bedecked in pastel shades of
puke, is fronted by an oleaginous chap called Rupert Rayne - or ’Pert,
as he coquettishly wishes to be known - who offers his support to those
of us whose relationships are less than idyllic.
But cut through the St Lukesian snook firmly cocked at the site visitor,
and you will find an altogether more needy sector of the populace. Amid
the cod-caring links, such as ’my partner has left me - comfort me,
Rupert!’, we are asked: ’Desperate for a divorce? Get legal online.’
This link takes us (via several nannyish concerns - ’are you really
sure? No, but really, this is serious’) to the Desktop Lawyer site,
offering quickie divorces at the end of your modem. A staggering 60-odd
visitors per week have entered the site.
On discovering this, BBC Radio Leeds got hot under the collar and
arranged a head-to-head discussion between St Luke’s and Relate’s
spokeswoman, Jane Quilliam. Having lambasted the site for condoning
divorce, Auntie Jane was roped in to provide solace for the marriage
Take-up of the consequent service on www.makeafreshstart. co.uk has far
exceeded expectations, to the extent that St Luke’s is considering
keeping it running, even when the ’make a fresh start’ campaign is long
Rumours that St Luke’s is steering its former client at The Express
towards the relationship advice service are entirely unfounded.