ARGUMENTS OVER who should pay for the promotion of milk has left the door wide open for competitors to steal valuable market share, dairy trade members have been warned.

Jill Eisberg, chief executive of the Dairy Council, said an advertising spend equivalent to Tesco‘s suggested budget of over £20m a year could be needed to boost consumer awareness to historic levels.

“While we continue to argue over who should pay for promotion we are taking our eye off the ball and opening opportunities for competitors.”

A recent example saw promotional packs of cereals and a soya-based milk replacer distributed to women at railway stations at a cost estimated at £12m, she said.

In contrast the Dairy Council‘s spend had fallen from £1.5m around 2000 to just £577,000 today.