If you haven’t heard about the latest scandal here in the UK, you’ve probably been either living under a rock or cryogenically frozen for the last six weeks.
The discovery of horse meat in a high profile brand of frozen burgers back on the 16th of January has led to outrage, a**e-covering and some serious spin doctoring from all quarters and producers and retailers alike are re-examining and re-fortifying their supply chains. Ikea has withdrawn its weiner sausages from sale, Tesco is vowing to back British farmers and only yesterday, the Food Standards Agency revealed horse meat DNA in even more products.
Needless to say frozen burger sales have plummeted 43% (source: Guardian 26th Feb 2013) and I suspect other family ‘mince-based’ favourites like frozen lasagne and spaghetti bolognese won’t be far behind.
The press are loving it.
But it’s not just sensational headlines that have been shifting papers. Co-op placed a full page ad in last Saturday’s Times newspaper and Tesco have also boosted the media’s advertising coffers by placing full page ads in the Metro newspaper starting with a rapid fire response the day after the scandal broke followed by a double page spread this week.
I’m sure this is all intended to reassure their shoppers. But quite frankly, when I turned the page and saw it, all that registered was ‘blah blah blah’ and rather than being reassured, I was left thinking ‘what a load of s**t’.
How cynical you may be thinking. And you’re right.
The damage has been done, another dent left in consumers’ waning confidence and with trust at an all time low, it will take more than a couple of ads to restore it. And every subsequent exposé will serve to underscore this deepening lack of faith in the world around us.
Or will it?
Do you think we can find it within ourselves to trust again?
What is it going to take?