Client: Centura Foods
PR Team: Lexis PR
Campaign: Goodbye Golly
Timescale: May - August 2001
Budget: Part of retainer fees
Last August, Centura Foods decided to remove the trademark Golly from
its Robertson's packs and terminate its Golly Collector Scheme.
After 93 years as a brand icon, the food manufacturer felt Golly was no
longer relevant, and Robertson's faced complaints that the icon was
racist, and so replaced him with seven characters from the stories of
To manage the changeover, Centura used its retained agency, Lexis
To draw attention away from the demise of Golly and focus on the new
brand icons. To prevent the story leaking.
Strategy and Plan
The PR team kept the announcement under wraps until launch day on 23
August, by developing a holding statement for the media and revealing
information on a need-to-know basis to Centura employees.
It was clear that the media would be more interested in Golly's demise
than in welcoming the likes of the Big Friendly Giant.
To turn the focus of journalists' enquiries to the opportunities
presented by working with the Roald Dahl Foundation, Lexis held media
training for Robertson's' national and regional spokespeople.
Research revealed that Golly was generally seen as a nostalgic figure by
adults and created little or no resonance with children.
However, the PR team was aware that Golly had some dedicated collectors
and was popular with Centura's employees at the Robertson's plant near
To tackle these two audiences, the PR team monitored the eight websites
dedicated to Golly and created an internal communications video-package
Measurement and Evaluation
On 23 August, Centura achieved widespread broadcast coverage, with 21 TV
reports and 178 radio items.
The story was carried by the national, regional, marketing and
collectors' print media, with broadsheets making 20 visual references to
Golly and six to the new Dahl characters.
There were no leaks to the media and almost 90 per cent of the coverage
was balanced or positive.
Journalists on collectible magazine titles welcomed the change as many
felt children would be more able to identify with the Roald Dahl figures
than with Golly.