DIARY: Alternative food groups avoid falling foul of British cattle farmers

While no self-respecting PR person would dream of capitalising on the misfortunes of the beef industry, PR advisers to producers of non-bovine foodstuffs are not blind to the publicity opportunities.

While no self-respecting PR person would dream of capitalising on the

misfortunes of the beef industry, PR advisers to producers of non-bovine

foodstuffs are not blind to the publicity opportunities.



‘Turkeys are flying off the shelves as we speak,’ says Keith Simpson, MD

of Nexus PR, which has handled PR for the British Turkey Federation

since 1988. ‘We are not doing anything to disadvantage beef farmers,’ he

adds in a more sombre tone.



The story’s the same at the British Salmon Board. ‘We are just getting

on with persuading people that salmon is good to eat,’ says spokesman

John Webster, although he tells me that trade enquiries have gone

through the roof.



The Vegetarian Society, with its current militant anti-beef ad campaign,

also denies its press team have been rubbing carnivores’ noses in it.



‘We haven’t issued any press releases over BSE,’ said spokesman Steve

Connor.



‘It is wrong to make any capital out of something so tragic. British

consumers are angry and upset and if someone from the Vegetarian Society

appeared on TV saying ‘yah boo sucks’ they would be seen as

antagonistic,’ he adds.



But he gleefully admits the society has sent out ‘hundreds’ of

information packs daily and hasn’t been shy to add its two penn’orth to

the ever-mounting media frenzy.



‘We are a winner in the situation,’ he says.



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