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Hybu Cig Cymru Campaign To Help Welsh Butchers?

11 Sep

I received a press release from Hybu Cig Cymru, HCC on 29th August and was thrilled to learn that HCC are spending £850k on a promotional campaign to promote Welsh lamb this autumn. I have taken the liberty to show the press release in full further down, so all our independent butchers that are with us as Best of Welsh & Border producers, BOW, can join with me in my excitement!

When we received this press release, Ian contacted Golley Slater, the Public Relations company that ‘look after’ HCC, asking when he should be talking to them about advertising, bearing in mind that at this stage Golley Slater for some reason, hadn’t already been talking to Welsh Country magazine. This press release came direct from HCC, not from Golley Slater, but stated the campaign breaks in September, so we’d no chance of HCC coming in our S/October issue, had we?

But I was told by one of our BOW butchers, that on 9th September there was a full page advert in the Mail On Sunday, MOS. Well I tracked the advert down and read it with some interest. But I’m not convinced at all that MOS readers will understand that Welsh lamb has PGI status, let alone know what PGI actually means. This is a campaign to the ordinary chap in the street, Joe Public, not to the trade, so why in an advert campaign would you use PGI instead of saying and explaining Protected Geographical Indication? I’m puzzled about that. Even having a minuscule logo next to the Welsh lamb logo totally misses the mark; it will mean very little, if anything at all, to the readers of the Sunday Mail. Maybe I’m wrong on that but I really don’t think so.

I’m also not sure that it’s motivating enough that the competition HCC are plugging with ‘quality time in a luxury Welsh farmhouse for eight guests with dinner specifically prepared by a celebrity TV chef,’ hits the mark either. Is this a Welsh TV celebrity chef or an English TV celebrity chef? Doesn’t the celebrity chef deserve a plug? Or has a celebrity chef not yet been booked yet? For goodness sake don’t lose the opportunity to name the chef, especially if he or she is Welsh. Any bets guys on the chef? Maybe it’s Dudley or Steve Terry, but perhaps HCC will use the young and talented Luke Thomas who I interviewed for  Welsh Country magazine for our J/Feb issue in 2011. Not quite sure that the lovely Luke will count with HCC as a celebrity TV chef, but he’s certainly one to watch.

My other worry with this national campaign, is that one of the constant queries I get asked, is where Welsh people can buy Welsh meat. In a way it’s an easy one for me to answer, as I know we have a superb selection of local butchers with us on our Best Of Welsh & Borders listing, so I can direct people there. But I hate to hear of people living here in Wales struggling to find Welsh meat, be it lamb, beef or pork. When I have no option but to visit a supermarket in Wales, I often find it difficult to find Welsh meat. Following a meeting I went to some time ago about the Cambrian Mountain initiative I visited a Co-Op store after being assured their meat was readily available there, but I couldn’t find any Welsh meat at all, I asked a member of staff to be told she didn’t think they had any! Now that was here in Wales, so I am concerned how much Welsh meat is readily available across all UK supermarkets and if it really is not just easy to find but more ‘right-in-your face’ when you get to the meat counter and is clearly marked on their shelves. Cynical journalist I might be, but my concern is totally and utterly for not only our BOW butchers, who of course are my priority, but also for all independent butchers who are having a very tough time as they continue to compete against the powerful supermarkets and the downward trend of our High Streets.

£850,000 promotional campaign for Welsh Lamb launches this autumn

 A major £850,000 advertising campaign gets underway in September which aims to make Welsh Lamb the first choice meat on Britain’s plates.

The campaign includes television, online, billboard poster and magazine advertising as well as an on-pack competition for shoppers to win a luxury break which includes being treated to a top class meal cooked by an up-and-coming young chef.

New recipe booklets will be distributed to butchers across the land to hand out to shoppers.

“This is one of the most comprehensive advertising campaigns we have ever undertaken, driven by our desire to see Welsh Lamb installed as the number one choice on dinner tables,” said Laura Dodds, Market Development Manager with red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru.

“Our advertising campaign covers all media, while both independent butchers and supermarkets that sell Welsh Lamb will be supplied with posters and recipe booklets that consumers will be able to take home with them to try out.”

 

 
 

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  1. Mr Big Cheese

    September 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Cath,

    The reason why HCC, WAG, etc, do not advertise in your magazine is because nobody knows what your circulation/readership is.

    Perhaps if you were a bit more open about how many people read your “magazine”, public sector organisations – like HCC – may be more ready to cooperate with you.

    The simple fact, dear Cathleen, is that they are not going to splash the cash on you unless they can justify it – i.e., spending £x on Welsh Country = access to ?? readers.

    Simple as that.

    Lots of love

    Mr Cheese.

     
  2. admin

    September 12, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Firstly Mr Big Cheese, I’d be really grateful if you would spell my name correctly. I’m Kath not Cath or even worse Cathleen.

    Secondly, how do you know that HCC and Wag do not advertsie in Welsh Country because nobody knows what our circulation or readership is? Even if you are employed by eithe HCC or wag, you have got your facts totally wrong. For some reason this post has prompted you to attack Welsh Country magazine, but you are hardly being open are you? You’re being cowardly, hiding behind ‘Mr Big Cheese’ and then using a dubious email but, perahps it is one standard for you and one standard for Welsh Country magazine – so there’s the big difference, you know who you are attacking, whilst I just wondered what has happened to cause this response.
    Thankfully emails into me from local butchers do not agree with you – whoever you are.

    Welsh Country has always had a published media pack and Ian Mole, our Commercial Director, is available to discuss any advertising programme with any company. Ian has contacted Golley Slater but so far has not had a response and certainly not a request for a further media pack. If that was their problem don’t you think I have jsut offered a simple solution? There is no secret in our circulation or readership – although any readership figure is a fanciful, unprovable figure. Readership is sometimes quoted at 3 readers per copy sold, others 7 readers per copy sold, others 10 readers per copy sold, in my view readership actually means very little. You are also incorrect that HCC and Wag do not advertise with us. Although HCC have never advertised with us, Wag actually did so for a number of number of years. So are you saying wag were stupid enough to advertise with us as a favour, without us telling them our circulation? That statement is not only incorrect it is quite ridiculous.

    What you offer as a simple answer is flawed – again in my view.

    I’d like you to be more open, but how would you like Welsh Country magazine to be more open?

     
  3. meat man

    September 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I think Mr Big Cheese should have the confidence to say who he is, unless he prefers to stay a coward in hiding
    Where does he get the idea that this magazine doesn’t give how many they sell to people who might advertise? I have no clue why he’d say that, but doesn’t he miss the point that this is a welsh magazine that has a big content on food and has the support of lots and lots of producers. Or is he coming from the longstanding fact that HCC are not very interested in local Welsh butchers, could that be it?
    My partner buys the Mail and showed me the advert and I’ll back Kath 100% I didn’t think it worked and I’m in the trade. Guess the dishes that were shown were Welsh lamb, but waht were they? Will that really get Mail readers to walk into their butchers, or more than likely into their supermarket and actually ask for Welsh lamb and Welsh lamb? I don’t think so.
    HCC focuses on sales abroad, enjoying expensive trips, they’re and never have been focused on us local butchers. It is our sector that is suffering but we are businesses in decline as the supermarkets and more foreign meats are sold in Wales and in Britain too.
    you should have taken that comment down as Mr Big Cheese is an idiot

     
  4. Mr Big Cheese

    September 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    “I think Mr Big Cheese should have the confidence to say who he is, unless he prefers to stay a coward in hiding”….says “meat man”. Watch out “meat man”, irony might hit you on the head one of these days!

    The media industry standard recognition for readership and circulation figures is through membership of the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) http://www.abc.org.uk/

    Welsh Country Magazine is not registered with ABC.

    http://www.abc.org.uk/Search-Results/?type=all&SearchInput=welsh+country&DisplayAll=

    Why? What have you got to hide?

     
  5. admin

    September 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Gosh Mr Big Cheese or are you perhaps Mrs Big Cheese? Whoever ever you are,you still wish to attack me and my publication without the guts to give your true name. Brave person to hide behind Mr Big Cheese, but it appears that you are happy to behave like that.

    Shame that you now wish to talk in riddles – saying to meat man watch out irony might hit you on the head one of these days. Would you like to explain that please?

    Having been in the media industry for many years I am aware of ABC, the media standard recognition and circulation figures. Welsh Country magazine is not registered with ABC, never has been and what is more has never claimed to be. You then ask why? What have I got to hide?
    The answer is Welsh Country magazine has nothing to hide – unlike you. The cost of ABC is prohibitive for small independent publications and tends to be limited to the multi- magazine, multi-newpaper publishers.

    A long established equestrian publication takes stands at top equestrian events and sells all its current equestrian publications for £1.00 providing the purchaser completes a form which is then taken as an accurate sales figure for ABC ratings. Do you feel that is fair?
    Perhaps as the supposed guru of media you can tell me how many Welsh independent magazines have ABC?

     
  6. Alan Morris

    September 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Hi Kath,

    You state in your opening paragraph that you have reproduced the press release sent out by HCC on August 29th in full. Unfortunately, this is not correct. The following is the full version sent to Welsh Country magazine and all other media on that date. You will note that the full version of the press release answers many of the questions that you raise in your blog, particularly with regard to the identity of the young chef.

    Alan Morris
    Communications Manager
    Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales

    £850,000 promotional campaign for Welsh Lamb launches this autumn

    A major £850,000 advertising campaign gets underway in September which aims to make Welsh Lamb the first choice meat on Britain’s plates.

    The campaign includes television, online, billboard poster and magazine advertising as well as an on-pack competition for shoppers to win a luxury break which includes being treated to a top class meal cooked by an up-and-coming young chef.

    New recipe booklets will be distributed to butchers across the land to hand out to shoppers.

    “This is one of the most comprehensive advertising campaigns we have ever undertaken, driven by our desire to see Welsh Lamb installed as the number one choice on dinner tables,” said Laura Dodds, Market Development Manager with red meat promotion agency Hybu Cig Cymru.

    “Our advertising campaign covers all media, while both independent butchers and supermarkets that sell Welsh Lamb will be supplied with posters and recipe booklets that consumers will be able to take home with them to try out.

    “It all falls under our ‘Quality Time’ message, that Welsh Lamb is a premium product that is surprisingly versatile and can be cooked quickly to suit today’s hectic lifestyle.”

    Anyone buying Welsh Lamb this autumn will be able to enter a unique competition to win a three day luxury break for up to eight people in the Brecon Beacons and be treated to a top class three course meal, including a Welsh Lamb dish cooked by chef Luke Thomas. He is a young man who will soon become a household name across Britain thanks to a new television documentary.

    Although he is only 18, Luke from Connah’s Quay is a rising star in culinary circles who has gathered an enormous amount of work experience with top name chefs over the last few years – including Rick Stein, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and Gary Rhodes.

    In 2009 he won the prestigious UK FutureChef competition, and earlier this year he became head chef at a Berkshire restaurant.

    His ambition is to become the youngest person ever to earn a Michelin star – and he is currently filming a documentary with the BBC for screening in the autumn.

    “This is a unique competition offering Welsh Lamb customers the chance to win a prize that money can’t buy, and I’m delighted that Luke has agreed to create a special dish for our competition winners” said Miss Dodds.

    “And for those who do not win the prize, Luke has also agreed to create three special recipes which will be available for anyone visiting the http://www.eatwelshlamb.co.uk website in coming months.”

    The advertising campaign, including television advertisements in Wales and the south of England, launches on September 1st.

     
  7. admin

    September 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Alan

    This is the press release I received from you on 29th August.

    I apologise for not publishing the attachment, but in fairness I think you have helped created the confusion because your full press release should have been included in the email and not just in the longer version of the press release which you sent as an attachment. It appears to be standard practice nowadays that a press release is sent in full as an email and then for some reason, added in full as a word document.
    However it doesn’t help with your advert which did not mention the chef, therefore not giving Luke the promotion and coverage he not only needs, but he deserves to further his career. Neither did your advert mention the Brecon Beacons, which seems strange to me, but obviously makes sense to you at HCC. Kath

     
  8. producer

    September 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Isn’t a relevant point that HCC is focused markets abroad and markets outside Wales? They’ve always done that then they can blow their own trumpet.
    With those objectives and the epidemic of supermarkets are these not reasons that so many butchers have stopped trading or cannot see a positive futre for their family businesses?
    We are tied up with red tape in butchery but we can hardly rely on HCC to help us.
    How many copies of the Sunday mail are sold in Wales?
    My wife buys the paper on a weekend sometimes and she laughed when she saw that advert. An overwieght man, a dog that didn’t look like a collie sheepdog and three meals that we guessed were Welsh lamb but not certain what they they were.
    not sure booklets will help butchers get more sales
    I think the points made were honest and valid. This is a food blog and Kath can put her points forward as she’s doing the work and most of the time I agree with her.
    What I do know for sure, is that welsh country certainly back us producers.

     
  9. andy

    September 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Would Mr. Big Cheese like to comment on whether £800,000 splashed on FBA was cash wisely spent in raising the profile of Welsh food ?

     
  10. Porky person

    September 17, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Congratulations to HCC on their new web site and the work they are doing for Welsh Lamb and Beef. It would help of course if they tried a bit more to sell Welsh meat in Wales, promote what the PGI actually means, and have a look at the labeling system that allows imported lamb cut here to be sold as Welsh..
    It would also help if they remembered they are supposed to be promoting Welsh pork. Would you guess that from the Web site? Nope, and nor will anyone else!

     
  11. lamb chop

    October 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I’m amazed at some of these comments and surprised Kath you let them stay up.
    I’ve yet to meet a butcher working for himself that thinks HCC do a reasonable job for us and I mean only reasonable.
    I guess that you haven’t had HCC contact you for advertising, which makes a mockery of their press blurb, so let’s just alllow them to focus on national newspapers. That will really boost our trade here in Wales wont it? It’ll get lots of people from the UK coming to my shop to buy Welsh meat. I ‘d love to know how much Welsh meat is available nationally and is labelled up as Welsh meat. Do people in London, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds have easy access to Welsh meat? I doubt it. But HCC have ticked another box haven’t they?
    Welsh people struggle to find Welsh meat, but HCC see no need to look after the local people first and back us butchers -there are no sunshine trips abroad if HCC thought briefly to concentrate on Wales.

     
  12. T Bone

    October 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I think HCC should re-think what they are doing and who they should be supporting and make sure local butchers move nearer to the top of that list.
    HCC are by and large paying only lip service to local butchers, which is why so many butchers have bitten the sawdust – like they are no longer able to keep trading any longer.
    If more butchers continue to cease trading, then High Streets will be even worse than they are now and only supermarkets willl survive.
    I’m not surprised to read that you’ve not heard anything from HCC and you are not involved in yet another of their pathetic campaign. Why would they work with the only food mag we have in Wales when they have the Sunday Mail???
    Those guys are an expensive joke, but fail to make people smile, let alone laugh.

     
  13. Meat Man

    October 17, 2012 at 9:29 am

    I’m just catching up on this site – been too busy
    Kath I’m surprised you left Big Cheeses comments up on site. I know you can’t tell us who he or she is, but they’ve no idea what they are talking about. How can you possibly sell advertsing to any company without this information.
    Has this person not heard of media packs or thought of talking to Ian when he calls them?
    This person is a total idiot or just enjoys having a go at you without saying who he/she is – coward.
    Maybe he/she works for HCC becuase I cannot understand why HCC have not always advertised in Welsh Country magazine, that’s stupid.
    Can I guess that HCC’s overpaid PR company Golley Slater haven’t booked adverts with you? I’ve never heard of that Golley lot, but they don’t know the meat market and certainly not the food market either. Sure that welsh meat is easy to get all over the UK.
    I’m sure HCC will carrry on pushing exports and let local butcher numbers carry on declining – what an over-paid shower they are.
    As a butcher working with you, I cannot speak highly enough for the job your lot do and the support you give in welsh country for local food.
    Do hope you will be at Cowbridge