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There’s something fishy about this new Tesco Finest ad

Tesco’s stuttering recovery – acknowledging disaster with Fresh & Easy in the US, recovering a little in the UK (the most important bit) but suffering a car crash in Central Europe –  is putting more and more pressure on CEO Phil Clarke and finance director Laurie McIlwee, who is being blamed by investors for the European mess.

And agency Wieden+Kennedy London must be feeling the heat too, despite coming out with a series of lively and punchy ads plugging Tesco’s food quality. Here’s another one for Tesco Finest smoked haddock, a rather brave choice for a number of reasons. Unknown-3

Why brave? Well smoked haddock is a fresh product – which sits on the Tesco fish counter – so why is it a poster boy for the upmarket Finest range? Ah, must be the pre-packed stuff you find in smaller stores (left). And the smoked haddock in the film (and the pack) is the dyed yellow stuff – which may be traditional but it’s not what people want these days. The yellow dye is a truly pointless additive.

The last time I passed a Tesco fish counter I decided to buy some smoked haddock (very nice for a weekend breakfast) and there was a sea of (unbought) yellow stuff. And, tucked away, a little bit of undyed (which I bought). Now clearly you’re not interested in my fish shopping behaviour but…why is Tesco stocking and promoting something that many people seek to avoid? You won’t see dyed haddock on a Waitrose fish counter or in most decent fish shops.

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Who at Tesco made the decision to go large on this unpopular stuff? Finest it definitely is not. So the agency has a struggle on its hands, first with the client.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. The adverts for Tesco do seem to be helping, as we’ve had people coming asking for the yellow smoked haddock!

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