Every year Allied Bakeries loses 1.25 million bread baskets,
costing the company around pounds 4.25 million. For the past three years
there has been a basket recovery initiative, supported by a public
freephone number to report illegal use of baskets. The company has now
started a new system called ’Campaign Zero Tolerance’ to clamp down on
theft and misuse of bread baskets.
To reduce the incidence of basket theft and misuse. To gain ongoing
coverage for the initiative, including publicising the freephone
Leedex had certain messages to get across - that baskets marked Sunblest
are the property of Allied Bakeries and that their theft and misuse is
illegal, can have a negative impact on jobs and can be a threat to the
They wanted to target members of the public, Allied Bakeries staff and
customers and common misusers of bread baskets, such as market traders
and hotels. While it was vital to gain wide press coverage, they also
had to do an internal campaign, to encourage vigilance by Allied
To create a news hook and let the public know that theft and misuse of
bread baskets is illegal, it was decided that a ’Basket Amnesty’ would
be introduced, allowing the public to return baskets without fear of
prosecution and getting across the message that misuse is illegal. The
amnesty did not apply to any pending cases.
For the launch of the amnesty a photocall was arranged and a press
release sent to the national media. Allied Bakeries provided information
about ’hot-spot’ areas across the country where theft was rife so Leedex
was able to offer tailored press releases to the regional media to
interest them in the story.
In order to target those industries which are notorious for misusing the
baskets, specialist press releases were sent to trade publications for
hotel and catering, the removals industry and local authority press,
using details of the odd uses of bread baskets and focusing on the cost
to the company. Memos were produced and circulated to Allied Bakeries
staff to inform them about the campaign. A follow-up press release is
planned, along with another photocall,once the full results of the
amnesty are known.
The amnesty was widely covered in the media with the story being picked
up by the Times and the Daily Mail. The area-by-area breakdown
information was well received, with many of the regional papers covering
It was also featured on Radio 5 and GMTV. Some regional papers have
already contacted Leedex for results of the amnesty.
To date, nearly pounds 200,000 worth of baskets have been recovered
using information from the public.
Allied Bakeries’ bread basket problem initially seems trivial, but costs
a lot of money every year. The amnesty was an excellent way of launching
the initiative, allowing the humorous side of the story to be covered
while highlighting the serious impact.
The campaign was clearly an effective way getting the message across to
the public - the evidence of its success demonstrated by the number of
baskets recovered as a result.
Client: Allied Bakeries
PR Team: Leedex Public Relations
Campaign: Allied Bakeries Basket Recovery Initiative
Timescale: February to March 1998
Budget: pounds 5,000