THIS WEEK: Fighting talk at MS conference

Brand owners should get in fighting mood if they are going to make it through the next millennium, according to speakers at the Marketing Society’s conference ‘Radical Strategies for Profitable Growth’.

Brand owners should get in fighting mood if they are going to make it

through the next millennium, according to speakers at the Marketing

Society’s conference ‘Radical Strategies for Profitable Growth’.



‘Profitable growth comes only if you are prepared to go out and fight

for it in all appropriate ways by all appropriate means,’ Guinness

chairman Tony Greener told delegates.



Simon Bullimore, UK managing director of Mars Confectionery, took up the

sparring theme, urging the industry to fight for its freedom to

advertise.



‘We have in the United Kingdom the best system of self-regulation of

advertising in the world; a system which is fast, flexible and can keep

pace with developments,’ Bullimore said. ‘We know why advertisers in the

UK spent more than pounds 10bn in 1995. We know we need to inform to

build markets. We know it is good for consumers. We believe we should be

free to advertise.’



Bullimore urged delegates to protect the UK’s self-regulatory system,

ensuring advertising does not become a ‘soft target’ under the European

Union, influenced by restrictions in other countries (see box).



‘We as advertisers have the greatest interest and ability to defend

advertising. If our strategy for profitable growth is to be based on

building brands, we cannot afford not to do so,’ he said.



Delegates should look for growth through innovation, said Greener. ‘I

believe the core issue is better, more effective innovation, better than

we have achieved before,’ said Guinness’s Greener, who is putting his

marketing money where his mouth is with the development of Irish pubs,

line extensions of the black brew and a dedicated innovations division.



Greener argued innovation should not just be viewed as new product

development but as whole-culture changes and new and original ways of

marketing products that have existed for years, such as Coca-Cola.

‘Profitable growth will only come from innovation in all ways in which

business, any business, is conducted. That has to involve the whole

business,’ said Greener.



He cited as examples of innovative firms the development of Tesco

through the Metro concept and its in-store initiatives, and the speed of

new product development at Procter & Gamble. The firm files 100

different patents for detergent every year.



Advertising under fire



* Ireland: TV advertising to children banned for two hours in the

afternoon.



* Greece: TV ads for toys banned.



* Belgium: Five-minute gap required between children’s programmes and

any ads.



* Sweden: All advertising to children banned. All TV advertising before

children’s programmes banned.



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