Family favourite, Birds Eye, has pulled its recent fish fingers television advert after concerns that it could encourage children to jump into cold water.
The advert in question starred a boy and man who jumped into the sea as a voiceover says, “Captain Birds Eye loves the simple things, like jumping into cold water on a hot day with his grandson.”
A campaign group was later set up following the death of a 14-year-old who died from cold water shock after jumping into the River Wear with friends. The group claimed that the advert was inappropriate.
A spokesman for Birds Eye said,“We take all appropriate steps to ensure that our advertising is suitable to air in the UK and observe safety guidelines during the production of all our advertising. Unfortunately, our research and testing did not raise this specific issue.
As a family brand, we decided to take swift action and we wish campaigners every success in highlighting this important issue.”
So, from a PR and marketing standpoint, where does this leave Birds Eye?
When launching a campaign to the public, thorough research and the use of focus groups should be correctly implemented. This is especially poignant when marketing to youths or children.
In fairness to Birds Eye, it is unlikely that this isolated incident would have been raised by many in a focus group. However, the water safety campaign launched by Durham Council following the death of Cameron Gosling should have been picked up by the research team. A quick Google search of related terms immediately shows the far reach of the campaign and the associated YouTube videos. The Birds Eye PR team should have considered their target audience, something you are probably sick of hearing about if you regularly read this blog.
What can your business learn from this?
When promoting your goods and services you will benefit from the assistance of a professional PR and marketing team that understand the importance of research and target markets.
If you are looking to widen your reach, gain new customers or improve your reputation, speak to our Essex based marketing and PR team today. We work with a wide variety of clients globally.