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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.

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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