14 November 2001
‘White Stuff’ is wrong for dairies

By Isabel Davies

DAIRY companies have called a halt to a milk advertising campaign which organisers claim boosted milk sales by about 60m litres in 18 months.

The “White Stuff” television adverts featured animated versions of celebrities Rolf Harris, Chris Eubank, Prince Naseem Hamed and George Best.

At the end of each of the Dairy Council advertisements, viewers are asked: “The white stuff – are you made of it?”

But Jim Begg, director general of the Dairy Industry Federation, which represents the companies, said they are suspending funding.

This decision will only be reviewed once the impact of the campaign has been fully analysed, said Mr Begg.

The Dairy Council, of which the DIF is a member, had already agreed to analyse the figures before deciding what to do next, he claimed.

As a result, the Milk Development Council has announced the levyrate to dairy farmers has been reduced from 0.06ppl to 0.04ppl from 1 November.

The organisation said it had a moral obligation to stop collecting money, but was disappointed that the campaign had to be suspended from the New Year.

Marketing consultants told the MDC that abandoning the campaign will “represent a backwards step and result in a poor return on investment.”

MDC chief executive Kevin Bellmay said 200,000 of producers money would be spent on a final one-off burst of advertising over the Christmas period.

A National Farmers Union spokeswoman said farmers had voted in favour of paying a levy for three years, so for the campaign to be put on hold was disappointing.