Bates Dorland has diffused a potentially embarrassing conflict problem
with its Cordiant sister agency, KHBB, by withdrawing an ad urging a
boycott of French apples.
Charlie Scott, the Cordiant chairman, was drawn into the furore after
representatives of French growers, whose UK business is handled by KHBB,
angrily demanded a halt to the advertising.
Sopexa, an umbrella organisation that markets French apples, cheeses and
wine in the UK, complained to the Advertising Standards Authority.
The ad called for a boycott of French apples, following claims they were
being ‘dumped’ on the English market from countries opposed to French
nuclear testing and threatening the livelihoods of UK growers (Campaign,
KHBB, which has handled the pounds 500,000 French apples account for
several years, is understood to have pressed the matter strongly with
Dorlands, which has agreed not to run it again.
Hamish Pringle, KHBB’s chairman, said: ‘I respect the right of an agency
to act in the best interests of its clients. But in this case there
doesn’t seem to be a client.’
Nicola Peers, the Sopexa marketing director, protested to Paul Twivy,
the Dorlands group chief executive, about the ad and rejected the
Twivy insisted the agency stood by claims made in the ad, which had been
vetted by lawyers, and said he was surprised by Sopexa’s reaction.