Horse Meat Scandal Shaping Advertising Campaigns?

Jason Spencer, ITV's Business Development Director reflects on the way national news can shape advertiser's key messaging.

As the horsemeat scandal escalates day by day in the UK and internationally, the way media and advertisers react is a key part of the story itself. Morrisons have reported an 18% rise at its fresh meat counters. Retail Week found that 45% of shoppers said they would avoid the meat aisles of the chains found be to selling horsemeat labeled as beef. The national press is rife with scaremongering tales to make your toes curl.

At ITV, our editorial responsibility is not only to report the story, but also to investigate, educate and reassure. Commercially, it could become very interesting. Advertisers may start to approach us to communicate their fresh meat credentials, provenance and the importance of the customer. This might change their marketing messages (from annual brand plans in place 4 weeks ago) to mirror what is foremost in our minds right here right now.

In reflecting what is at the heart of popular culture, ITV, the largest marketing platform for brands in the UK, is better placed than other media to help advertisers reassert quality and reassure their customers as quickly as possible – before the escalation becomes an avalanche. It is a great opportunity for brands with the confidence to communicate this message. They can nudge customers to behave differently in 30 seconds – to pay more for quality fresh products and attract fresh customers. No other media platform can do this as effectively – but what do you think?