The Stilton Cheese Makers’ Association has dropped its PR agency of 22
years as part of its drive to market the traditional English cheese to a
The challenge of improving Stilton’s ‘street credibility’ has been
seized by the two-year-old firm Westbury Blake PR after the association
ended itsrelationship with Buxton-based agency Osborne.
Westbury Blake beat four other food PR specialists, including the
incumbent, to win the contract, worth a total pounds 75,000 in budget
Westbury Blake MD Sue Harris said the agency plans to promote Stilton as
a ‘livelier, trendier’ cheese among 20 to 30 year-olds. Men’s and
women’s press, local radio and national newspaper food writers will all
be targeted in the campaign, which could run for up to three years.
Harris, whose clients include Bollinger and Taylor’s Port, said the
agency will promote Stilton as a ‘versatile cheese’ using recipe ideas.
The association has been trying to shed Stilton’s staid image for the
last three years, while being careful not to alienate its older loyal
‘We have to put right this image that Stilton is eaten with a glass of
port by old men,’ said Nigel White, secretary of the Stilton Cheese
Makers’ Association. ‘But it will take a long time as Stilton is a
traditional English product.’
Osborne PR’s chairman Olive Middleton said she was ‘very disappointed’
to lose the business, one of the agency’s founding contracts.
‘The dairy industry and Stilton cheese in particular has been a feature
of our business ever since I formed the company in 1973,’ she said.
‘Unfortunately, the association now feel that their plans require a
different PR approach’.