Morrisons, Gormley’s Angel and the backfiring baguette

If you think Tesco has problems, take a look at Morrisons.

The northern-based UK supermarket chain has taken even more of a powder at the hands of the German terrible twins Aldi and Lidl than even Phil Clarke’s sagging Tesco empire and it’s launching a campaign through DLKW Lowe to support its own price-cutting initiative (17 per cent off a range of brands).

There’s some TV:

And over the weekend a rather unfortunate stunt, dreamed up with media agencies MEC and Kinetic, involving the projection of a Morrisons baguette onto Anthony Gormley’s celebrated sculpture The Angel of the North (left).

Gormley, and lots of other people in this Morrisons heartland, objected and so the company has had to make a grovelling apology: “We’re sorry if you thought we got carried away by shining a baguette on the Angel of the North and apologise unreservedly to those to whom we have caused offence.

“We were trying something different, which was meant to put a smile on people’s faces, but clearly it wasn’t to everybody’s tastes. We’re so proud of our northern roots and the last thing we want to do is offend anybody.”

Why do supposedly rational companies (and their agencies) do this? If it’s Paddy Power you know what they’re up to (pathetic as it mostly is). But Morrisons? Just when it needs a few friends?

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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. could have been worse: entertain yourselves by imagining different products of a shape that could be projected onto this.