Magazine article Marketing

The Sweets of Office

Magazine article Marketing

The Sweets of Office

Article excerpt

The sweets of office

For most of us, what chocolate bar we eat is of little importance. But put that innocent question to Tate and Lyle marketing director Clive Rutherford, and the shutters come down. "I wouldn't dare answer that," he says. "It could mean we lose one of our major customers!"

In any case Rutherford has more on his mind than the relative merits of a Mars Bar to a Kit-Kat.

After all, he's just got into bed with arch-rival British Sugar to launch a 12m [pounds] generic campaign to soften the sweet stuff's pure, white and deadly image.

Rutherford has been in sugar for 20 years, joining Tate and Lyle in the early 70s armed with an engineering degree and a sweet tooth.

After a stint on the production line, his first big break came in 1972 when the top job at Tate and Lyle Northern Ireland was up for grabs. As it was a small operation and "Bloody Sunday" was in everyone's mind, there were few takers, but Rutherford leapt at the opportunity. "I guess in those days I was young and ambitious," he says.

He admits the industry has been slow to respond to two decades of sugar scares. "In the early days, the industry felt that if it responded it would only keep the issue in the spotlight," says Rutherford. …

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