Friday Drop: Bad week for Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld

Crafty Kraft. That's the emerging view from the confectionery community right now following the news that Peter Mandelson's Curly Wurly may not be rolled out in Bristol for much longer.

Rosenfeld: not popular in Bristol
Rosenfeld: not popular in Bristol

The US cheese spread giant's CEO has turned out to be more hard boiled than Creme Egg as the long anticipated takeover of Cadbury has developed. After complaining to the Telegraph that dealing with the soft centred Business Secretary was akin to ‘root canal surgery', Irene Rosenfeld stuck two chocolate fingers up at British Milk Tray lovers by pulling the plug on Bristol's Somerdale plant after apparently assuring Mandy that the plant would stay. A careless Wispa?

Cadbury actually decided to close the plant in 2008, so Rosenfeld's initial pledge to keep it running seems all the more baffling particularly as she unblinkingly tells The Times' Andrew Davidson that swallowing Cadbury ‘has to involve redundancies'. The FT's Andrew Hill points out that Kraft should have kept quiet if the dye had been cast, the whole affair underlining the muddle on both sides. Kraft tried to use the potential closure as leverage with the UK government and Cadbury used the confusion to underline how the food giant didn't understand its business. With a messy, hostile takeover complete, there is work to do for Rosenfeld. The fact remains that no party has emerged from this smelling of Roses.

Key Lessons:

Don't be tempted to play to the audience, a careless quip can show you in a poor light

Mixed messages can have long term consequences

 

Good week for writer Richard Curtis

Still fed up of reading about telephone number style bank bonuses? Well fear not, because Richard Curtis and dashingly crumpled thesp Bill Nighy are robbing the rich to give to the poor in a real life Sherwood Forest romp. The Robin Hood Tax is an arcane financial top slice (called the Tobin Tax) given a re-spray and plugged into social media. Nighy fronts a YouTube viral as a banker squirming at the question that a 0.05 percent tax on banking trades on derivatives amongst other things might raise $700 billion to be redistributed amongst the great unwashed.

Nighy has acted as the meat in a rather densely packed NGO sandwich, with groups as diverse as Banardos, RSPB, the Salvation Army and the TUC rallying together to clip the wings of the Square Mile's Sheriff of Nottinghams. However it is Curtis in the driving seat, with a similar role to his Drop The Debt campaign in 2005. Jocular but effective performances on Five Live (fast forward to 1-43-27) and BBC Breakfast have been boosted by an integrated social media campaign. With broadcasting royalty Fearne Cotton tweeting to her half a million followers alone, a Facebook fan page boasting 16,500 members already and pleas for Twitter and Facebook users to place a green Robin Hood mask over their profile pictures - even Claudia Winkelman has complied - the power of social media is evident. The future of the world is Nighy.

Key Lessons:

A genuinely integrated campaign can be highly effective

Celebrity endorsements are most effective when authentic

 

 

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