Typhoo Tea uses fake customer complaints to lobby retailers

Ben Fogle: broadcaster and adventurer is a brand ambassador for Typhoo Tea
Ben Fogle: broadcaster and adventurer is a brand ambassador for Typhoo Tea

Typhoo Tea, the British brand that has been around since the turn of the century, has become part of an enigmatic campaign to secure better in-store shelf space, in which people were hired to pose as disgruntled customers.

The Sunday Times reported that Intelligent Marketing Solutions (IMS) has been hired by Typhoo to contact Sainsbury’s and ask why the supermarket does not stock the brand in specific stores and whether it will be restocked.

IMS has emailed its paid field workers to lobby Sainsbury’s on behalf of Typhoo, posing as disgruntled customers, by using Twitter, Facebook, email or phone, with a payment of £1.50 per call and letters at £2.50.

The campaign was due to start today, but is understood to have been postponed.

IMS circulated an email to its field workers, which said: "We have been asked by our client to contact Sainsbury’s by the following methods [email, Facebook, etc] to ask why they no longer stock Typhoo tea in a specific store (the stores will be listed) and to ask if the product can be restocked.

"You will be provided with a Sainsbury’s store for each call, but this may not be a store near you. However, because this is an online assignment, this will have no bearing on you conducting this assignment successfully."

It is believed that Typhoo has been pushed out of sight on supermarket shelves, in part due to the success of supermarket own-brand teas.

Sainsbury’s said: "We always aim to offer our customers a choice and we do stock Typhoo Tea in some of our stores.

"But from time to time, we have to remove lines so that we can increase the availability of the products that are the most popular with our customers."


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug