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01 February 2002

Donít sell on negatives


Goodness knows what possessed Tegel Foods when they decided to promote their chooks on the basis of some of the nasties they didn't contain.

To actively promote your product on negatives is to ask to be struck down, especially when food safety and animal welfare activists have you in their sights about other aspects of your production methods.

MP Sue Kedgley did the utterly predictable, winning herself headlines for her campaigns against the use of antibiotics in the feed of intensively reared animals and for over-crowding in broiler barns.

By all means, Tegel should reassure customers that their fowls don't eat GE feed, contain no added hormones and are raised in barns (not cages). But it should have been in the small print on the product pack, not the main theme of their TV advertising.

Using negative points to sell food is an extremely risky tactic at the best of times - once you've kicked the ball into the marketplace, you never know which way it's going to bounce.

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