Magazine article Marketing

Harry and Molly Could Face Chop

Magazine article Marketing

Harry and Molly Could Face Chop

Article excerpt

Safeway's chief executive, Colin Smith, has openly questioned whether the supermarket chain should sustain its [pounds]35m 'Harry and Molly' campaign in the face of soaring TV advertising costs.

Smith's revelation came in a speech to The Marketing Society last week, on the same day that the retailer posted a lacklustre set of interim results and warned that its full-year profits would be down on last year. Smith said the group was considering channelling its ad budget into direct marketing through its ABC loyalty card.

"Do we really need an ad campaign which sends brand image messages to a mass audience, when we're targeting customers on a one-to-one basis?" he asked.

"Of course, it is really a question of finding the best-value channel of communication for a given job. And, frankly, though our TV campaign has worked well, we can't afford the huge inflation that this medium is sustaining."

The warning to ITV sales houses followed moves by the network to introduce a sales policy which would effectively penalise clients which do not commit a percentage of their budgets to its ad slots.

Advertisers have also raised concerns about the inflation rate on ITV, when the channel is delivering a declining share of key markets. …

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