Category Archives: PEST


Local produce or a marketing con?

My eye was caught recently by an article in an English newspaper on a loophole in the law. Marketing johnnies have been quick to exploit it. Like many nations, the Brits are keen on home-grown foods (and although others mock us, there are actually some superb dishes in British cuisine). One such product is the Cumberland sausage. Of course to … Continue reading

Expensive to make, not dear to customers

Use the news

Companies often use things happening in the news to inject their products with interest and move forward the AIDA process. But this recent idea caused a bit of a cafuffle. Obama Fingers. Yes, you read that right: OBAMA fingers, like fish fingers only with chicken. What in heaven’s name possessed the people at the company (and probably some over-zealous product … Continue reading

Fluctuating demand

According to the news out yesterday, UK retailers suffered the worst December on record. So it looks like people aren’t shopping as much as they have during Blair’s feel-good years. A sign of the boom and bust economy in the UK fuelled and drained by living on credit. The question to marketeers is: do businesses selling consumer products (B2C companies) … Continue reading

Teds for grey markets

Young and old

The Germans are dying out. Ok, they’re not really dying out, but the birth rate has plummeted. In fact it’s been in decline for decades. Bad news if your core target group is babies or kids. By 2035 each working person will be funding another German’s pension. To respond to the demographic change, Steiff has been adapting its marketing strategy … Continue reading

Screenshot from:

Drink sparks off controversy

I’ve heard it said that any publicity is good publicity – as long as you can repair the damage when it’s not positive. I wonder if SABMiller agree. In the states, their brand “Sparks” has been creating a ripple or two. Critics and lobbyists keen to nip teenage drinking in the bud claim the company is deliberately targeting young people … Continue reading

Source: BBC screenshot

Too sexy for Scandinavia?

As a Brit abroad I’ve often seen sexist advertising that would upset the traditionalists in my home country, so it’s interesting to see people in other countries struggling with the issue. This article from the BBC shows an interesting angle from Scandinavia. The Norwegians have clearly come down in favour of a ban on any use of sexy images that … Continue reading

The brand with the 3 blobs.

Chinese whispers

As the MBAs travel the world, I am seeing more and more examples of the random nature of legal restrictions in different countries. These recent examples where snipped by Ralph in China. First we have what looks like an imitation of adidas. Clearly the Chinese have no way either of controlling this blantant imitation, or of responding to the complaints … Continue reading

Heineken cans in France

Dealing with alcohol

How differently alcohol is sold in different countries… Starting with some examples from Anja (thanks for your input!), it looks like the French are taking the issue of drinking during pregnancy very seriously. So seriously in fact that warnings now feature on cans. Whether this is a legal requirement I don’t know, but if it is then that can’t be … Continue reading


Coke nearly upsets the Chinese

Poor Coke, minding its own business when suddenly it finds itself in the middle of a global controversy. The first it heard about it was when a Chinese blogger came out with the following Germany has started to really show adverts for Tibetan independence. Coca-Cola! Okay, I will remember. From now on I will not touch this shitty product! The … Continue reading

Web 2.0 – will it hit Germany big-time?

Well if this isn’t official, what is: The world of blogs, mashups, podcasting, RSS, social networking, widgets and wikis is set to hit global marketing, big time. So when are German companies going to wake up to this…? Or have they done so already? I decided to search for signs of Web 2.0ism at five big names in Germany, … Continue reading

Mocking the powers that be

Smoking ban? Who cares!

I’ve been waiting with baited breath to see how the German cigarette companies would deal with the smoking ban in bars. Trust my favourite brand (NO, I don’t smoke) to strike the right chord. Here’s how they dealt with it in Baden-Württemberg, which implemented the ban last year. Rather than go more abstract (than they already are!) they met the … Continue reading