Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FEAR AND LOATHING OF ENGLAND AT TESCO...

After an illuminating telephone conversation with some bolshy Scottish woman at Tesco Customer Care Centre, yesterday, I have received some disquieting news.
I was informed, that due to specific, constant and deafening requests by their English customers, the existing, very few own brand references to English products in Tesco stores are to be dumped – and replaced with the ‘British’ moniker.
I really do have to say that the conversation was one of the most surreal I have ever had – even by Tesco standards.

I thought I should ring them to discuss ‘CountryLife-Gate’ – and that company’s shameless rebranding of English butter to British butter. I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk (yet again) to Tesco about their branding policy.

I told the Tesco lady that I was looking for another butter to buy with ‘English’ written on the pack – and couldn’t help noticing that Tesco own brand butter did indeed say ‘English Butter’, but unfortunately, the accompanying flag was not the flag of St George but was the flag of the Union.....

I then tried to expand the discussion, sort of telling her that I would like to buy English stuff in Tesco, but there are precious few products in Tesco with the English ident on – and how I thought it was about time they expanded their English range – and as a start, they could change the flag on the Tesco English Butter pack to make it consistent.

“But we are changing it to make it more consistent”

“Well that’s bloody great!”

“Yes, in the very near future, our butter will be labelled as British butter – and of course we will keep the Union flag to make it all consistent”....

“WHAT?”...


She repeated it – and then added “In fact all the remaining products with England of English on them are to be rebranded as British”.

“WHY?”

“Because all our customers in England want their products labelled as British – while all our customers in Scotland, Wales and Ireland want their produce labelled as Scottish, Welsh and Irish”....

“Well who decided that then?”

“Our customer focus groups”

“So let me get this straight – customers in England have specifically demanded that the very few English branded products that Tesco sells must be rebranded to British – because, presumably they find it all too upsetting? “So why haven’t the Scots etc demanded that their products are to be labelled as British also?

“Well they don’t see themselves as British – they see themselves as Scottish – it’s the same with the Welsh and the Irish”...

“How very convenient..... So what you are saying is that the few remaining English products are soon to be bulldozed from the shelves in favour of British ones”....


She did indeed confirm that rogue products like Tesco own brand English Butter and Mild Cheshire Cheese are to be axed for a more apparently palatable British version.

She then read out a communiqué from Head Office –

“Regarding product branding, this is what our Customer Forum has asked us to do”
‘As most English inhabitants look on themselves as being British first – therefore, a Union flag is used to identify the region. NOTE: Regional information is printed on the pack to indicate which area within the region it comes from’.

There then followed a deep and meaningful discussion. The Scots lady said that every time she came south of the border she couldn’t move for union flags – because apparently, all English people are revelling in their British ident... While in her own country she and all her fellow compatriots were Scots first, second and third.

The whole conversation ended in a vexatious row. She just couldn’t grasp how insulted I felt to have my country rebranded as both a ‘region’ and as default Britain’. There is now a definite shift in strategy. They are now quoting ‘Focus Groups’ from the region of England as justification to rebrand to a British ident – and it’s all coming to a Tesco near you.

Utterly shameful....

Today’s action – To ring Wembley Stadium to ask exactly who gave the instructions for Saturday’s pre-match announcement to supporters to ‘stand for the national anthems’ just prior to the England footy match....

10 comments:

templar1118 said...

I've just had a very nice steak from Marks and Spencers. English beef, I might add, with a prominent Cross of St George on the packet. I chose it in preference to the Scottish steak, which was labelled with a union flag. No prizes for guessing who will be getting my custom in the future. I must say, though, that Tesco's have invented a new form of advertising: drive your customers away by insulting them!!

Carl said...

Isn't it time for the English to flex their financial muscle? Why do we accept these attempts to erode our national identity so passively? As long as Tesco persists with this discrimination against the English, then we should hit them where it hurts - in the profit margin. Don't give Tesco any more of your hard earned money. BOYCOTT TESCO! Pass this on to all the English people you know.

This Royal Throne of Kings said...

As Carl says, the only language companies such as Tesco understands is the one represented on their 'bottom line'.

If that begins to suffer because of their stance towards the English, then rest assured they would change it quick smart.

Boycott them and buy English elsewhere and watch them convert to Englishness before your very eyes...

neal said...

Tesco with the English ident and how I thought it was about time they expanded their English range , and as a start, they could change the flag on the Tesco English Butter pack to make it consistent.There is now a definite shift in strategy. They are now quoting ‘Focus Groups’ from the region of England as justification to rebrand to a British ident.
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