M&C Saatchi sets Waitrose off on road to ruin

There are more important things going on in the world than the dismemberment of Waitrose, for years the UK’s favourite middle class grocer, but at least now we know who to blame: those shiny happy people at M&C Saatchi.

M&C is now handling Watrose’s myWaitrose card offers and, unusually for a programme supposed to promote customer benefits, it’s produced the exact opposite: no more free newspapers or coffee (the latter was canned ages ago) but instead a crappy new system inviting card members to use QR codes (must be good then ‘cos it uses tech) to get just two measly offers a week on products “they (supposedly) love.”

Why do companies these days insist on choosing what we, in their eyes, want to buy? Don’t they know this got Facebook into trouble?

One Carl Kirby, head of CRM and Loyalty at Waitrose & Partners, tweets thus:

This week marks the biggest change to myWaitrose in a decade. Since the launch of the newspaper and free hot drink offer ten years ago we’ve welcomed over eight million customers into our scheme, served over 350 million coffees and given our loyal customers discounts on 200 million newspapers. (But Carl you’ve canned these, why boast about them?)

From today, every single myWaitrose member, every single week will be able to receive more of what they love. Every single customer who signs up for myWaitrose will be able to choose discounts on the products they buy most often.

Getting here has been an incredible journey (how long did it take, ten minutes?) and I am beyond grateful for everyone and every team who has dedicated time, energy and effort in getting us to this position.

A huge personal thank you from me to everyone who has played a part – our incredible CRM & Loyalty team, Partners from across Waitrose & Partners and the John Lewis Partnership and our brilliant friends at Eagle Eye, M&C Saatchi London, Go Inspire Group, Ecrebo and Salesforce. (Did it take all of these geniuses to axe real benefits and replace them with a dog-eared substitute?)

I very much hope you enjoy the rewards we have picked for you!

Well we don’t Carl and it’ll take more than a redundant exclamation mark to dig you out of this hole. And who wrote this rubbish: Eagle Eye, M&C, Go Inspire, Ecrebo or Salesforce? Or a bit of AI?

It takes a long time to build a brand but remarkably little to destroy it. Welcome to the party M&C Saatchi.

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