Chris Barraclough

Been in the business for far too long

Why Cancer Research UK’s death threat is wrong

Last week, I received a letter from ‘cancer’. Written in the first person.

This is some of what cancer told me  “Everyone knows me and the devastation I cause…for those people (who get cancer) their friends and families, things won’t ever be the same again….I don’t care who I hurt. I’m still tearing lives apart…every two minutes I take hold of another person….and I won’t go away without a fight.”

Read more on Why Cancer Research UK’s death threat is wrong…

Are agencies behaving badly?

A couple of things have happened recently that might appear to put agencies in a bad light.

Firstly, we had Jonathan Stead in Campaign somewhat brazenly announcing a new Rapier, whilst the body of the old one, hurriedly buried along with its creditors, was still warm.

Read more on Are agencies behaving badly?…

Why Tesco should open up its Talking Shop

Marketing Magazine revealed this week that Philip Clarke, its CEO, is kicking off a blog called “Talking Shop”. Sainsbury’s already has its ‘Views’ and Asda has its ‘Aisle Spy’.

Mr Clarke is to be applauded for venturing into the public domain. He didn’t have to.

Read more on Why Tesco should open up its Talking Shop…

Will Royal Mail’s MarketReach take its chance to deliver?

Last week I attended the launch of Royal Mail’s new MarketReach initiative. Despite some of the comments I had made about the focus being too heavily on small volume ’boutique’ mail, it was good to see Royal Mail back on the front foot.

Read more on Will Royal Mail’s MarketReach take its chance to deliver?…

Could Twitter save Barclays?

Today, the chairman of Barclays accepted his company’s reputation had been dragged through the mud as a result of its manipulation of Libor. Now, they’ve pulled their advertising until the storm passes.

Read more on Could Twitter save Barclays?…

Why Royal Mail’s Moya Greene should not be at the V&A

Yesterday I received the heaviest piece of direct mail I can ever recall. It was for Royal Mail’s new MarketReach concept. Had anyone else mailed it, it would have cost £10.30 in postage alone. Open the brown packaging and it contains a large, elegant red box inviting me “to discover the power of real…” ???

Read more on Why Royal Mail’s Moya Greene should not be at the V&A…

What the Femfresh campaign teaches us about Facebook

The Femfresh Facebook page has been pulled and the brand put out of its social media misery. Phew!

Not before they ran an explanation as to why the ‘froo froo’ campaign got the green light. Apparently research had revealed that many women give their body parts funny names and “advertising bodies” (the ASA?)  had warned them that referring to vaginas in copy would be a big turn off.

Read more on What the Femfresh campaign teaches us about Facebook…

How Femfresh’s facebook page caused an awful stink

If you are not by now aware of the social marketing car crash that is Femfresh’s facebook page  I don’t know where you’ve been. It is at and all over Twitter (after appearing on the Wall blog yesterday).

Basically, they’ve been running a campaign based upon the infantile names women supposedly use in place of vagina or vulva. The fact that the names Femfresh suggest – nooni, lala, kitty and froo froo – sound like teletubbies just adds to the unworldiness of the idea.

The attacks from all and sundry have been relentless and some of the comments are genuinely hilarious. However, the longer term damage done to the brand is less about the puerile campaign and more about the questions now being raised about the product and the category. Read more on How Femfresh’s facebook page caused an awful stink…

After the Falklands, how will WPP police its agencies?

Y&R Buenos Aires has “gone rogue”  and produced a piece of propaganda on behalf of the Argentine Government featuring a hockey player training on the Falkland Islands with the tag “To compete on English soil we train on Argentinian soil”.

It’s understandably upset a lot of people in the UK and despite requests from Y&R New York and the British Government, the Argentine Government has refused to pull it.

Both Sir Martin Sorrell and Y&R New York have apologised. Their man in Buenos Aires has said the ad belongs to the Argentine Government and was never meant for an audience outside his country. Read more on After the Falklands, how will WPP police its agencies?…

What charities should learn from Whitewater’s demise

The news this week that Whitewater, the specialist charity agency, is going into liquidation is good news for no-one. The industry needs all its agencies to thrive.

It is VERY hard to run and manage and agency profitably these days. That applies to big and small. Whitewater fished in a single pool – charities – which made it vulnerable to a downturn in the sector. And if you are operating with a long lease and a number of senior staff on commensurate benefits, it can be very hard to reduce your cost base quickly enough once income falls (I’ve no idea if that was the case with Whitewater).

Read more on What charities should learn from Whitewater’s demise…

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