How EBLEX used Newsbrands to deliver a reactionary and topical message that ensured
we maintained consumer confidence in locally sourced fresh meat during the horsemeat
Background: In the wake of the on-going horsemeat scandal in February of 2012, we were
highly concerned that this could negatively impact our client EBLEX who are responsible for
promoting English Beef and Lamb in the UK (supported by the British farming bodies). It was the
perfect time to encourage British consumers to buy quality assured, traceable British produce.
Objectives: In order to deliver confidence and reassurance in British sourced fresh meat produce
we knew we had to raise awareness of the Red Tractor and Quality assured marks found on
beef, lamb, pork and bacon packets. We needed to disrupt and speak to a mass audience in a
way which Eblex hadn’t done before. We needed to speak to our consumer in an environment
that would spark conversations with friends, family and colleagues.
Challenge: Our challenge was a big one as EBLEX usually invested in print titles such as Good
Housekeeping, and other monthly magazines. Running in the country’s biggest papers was a
scary thought for them!
Firstly, we had to convince the client to spend their advertising budget in this way. We knew we
would deliver against awareness and perception objectives if we invested in Newsbrands. This
was an entirely new approach for Eblex but, after few short meetings, they bought into our
Strategy: By focusing our spend Newsbrands we knew we could reach 25.1 million chief
shoppers in one week, which is almost double the reach of magazines (where EBLEX usually
spend). We also know that Newsbrands hold significant influence over the nation with 82% of
people believing that newspapers have “power and influence” over their readers – this was
hugely powerful environment we knew we could take advantage of.
Execution: Trust and relevancy meant that Newsbrand titles were the perfect place to carry ads
that highlighted the provenance of fresh beef, lamb, pork, bacon and carry the recognisable
imagery if the quality assured logos. "Quality Assured. Now more than ever, it's important to
know that the meat that you're buying comes from a trusted source."
The press campaign had to be secured and booked in four days. Our client and press team
worked tirelessly to achieve the best positions possible as well desired page running order for
both EBLEX and the NFU across all titles.
Across a 1 week period we delivered nearly 70% of our audiences at a frequency of 3 through a
multiple half page executions.
Results: The risk paid off! Anecdotal evidence from retailers has since suggested that consumer
demand for assured fresh meat has remained robust during the horse meat scandal and
consumers are increasingly looking for assurance marks when buying meat products. Advertising
awareness and recall was at its highest level since we started recording and a Kantar poll also
revealed that 20 per cent of consumers indicated that they would buy more fresh meat and 13 per
cent would buy more locally sourced meat.
Jane Ritchie-Smith, head of consumer marketing for EBLEX, said: “We know that from the
anecdotal evidence we are hearing from multiple and independent retailers that consumer
confidence in fresh meat is still strong. Our advertising campaign reiterates that by looking for the
Red Tractor and QSM assurance marks on packs of fresh beef, lamb, pork and bacon,
consumers can rest assured that what they are buying is fully traceable."
This shift in perception and results shows what can be achieved by taking a risk in the
Newsbrands environment which provided the perfect place to communicate our topical message