The Marketing Men Go to Work on Eggs - Again

By Goodchild, Sophie | The Independent (London, England), February 21, 1999 | Go to article overview
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The Marketing Men Go to Work on Eggs - Again


Goodchild, Sophie, The Independent (London, England)


THE EGG, in need of an image makeover since Edwina Currie highlighted its links with salmonella, is to be relaunched as a seductive health food in a pounds 4m marketing campaign.

Launched by the British Egg Information Service, the campaign will begin tomorrow, with the slogan "Eggs - fast food and good for you". It will be the first time in 17 years that eggs have featured in poster and television advertisements.

The reversal of the egg's fortunes can be attributed at least in part to the influence of Delia Smith, the fairy godmother of culinary ingenues. Her painstaking advice to the nation on how to boil an egg in her most recent television series, How to Cook, was branded "insulting" by chef Gary Rhodes. But it has helped to bring them back into fashion. Indeed, an extra 1.3 million eggs were sold in Britain each day during the BBC series; 54 million were sold in total. The BEIS is hoping that its campaign launch will create as much of a stir as the "Go to work on an egg" campaign, which the novelist Fay Weldon famously helped to promote as an advertising copywriter in the Sixties. Its television advertisements aim to show how easy eggs are to prepare. In one, "Fridge Raiders", teenagers are shown cooking a plate of scrambled eggs, and in another, "Apron Strings", the seductive charms of an egg add passion to a relationship. The organisation wants to promote the "goodness and convenience" of eggs, and cites a 33 per cent drop in human salmonella since 1998 as evidence that they are safe to eat. The Lion Quality mark is now displayed on 70 per cent of eggs to show they meet higher standards of hygiene and animal welfare than is required by law. A BEIS spokesman said: "The so-called Delia effect helped push egg sales up at the end of last year. We believe the new campaign, combined with the growing confidence in the health benefits of eggs, will help to maintain and increase this interest." According to Fay Weldon, sex was used as a tool to market eggs during the "Go to work on an egg" campaign, which starred comedian Tony Hancock.

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