24 April 1998
Generic milk ads move closer

A £6 million national generic advertising campaign for milk, co-funded by dairy producers and liquid milk processors, could be agreed soon, according to the National Dairy Council.

NDC marketing manager Andrew Ovens said that the change in law needed to allow money collected by the MDC to be spent on generic advertising should be in place early next parliamentay session.

Interested groups should write their MPs requesting support for the change, he urged. A farmer poll, conducted by MAFF, will be needed before launching the campaign which could get under way by Jan 1999.

If agreement is reached, TV advertising is likely to focus on milks fat content following NDCs survey last year which showed that 99% of consumers were unaware of the subject. Of those surveyed, 11% said they would drink more milk if they knew its fat content.

Another survey revealed that 74% of farmers would be willing to pay to fund the campaign, said Mr Ovens. Research overseas proved that every £1 spent on advertising generated a £5.50 return, he added.

Monmouthshire dairy producer and Nuffield scholar Gary Yeomans, who studied generic advertising in the US, said that launching an advertising campaign when profitability in the dairy sector had hit rock bottom was unfortunate. But its never too late to start advertising, he added.

Falling US milk sales were halted by a national advertising campaign, said Mr Yeomans. California also ran a “Got Milk” campaign, which increased milk consumption.

  • For this and other stories, see Farmers Weekly, 24-30 April, 1998

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