Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

In case you haven’t heard, the Ribena apology ads are out. Haven’t been able to find the actual video online yet, but from all reports, the TVC shows MD for GSK Consumer Healthcare in Australia, John Sayers addressing the audience in an apologetic manner.

He apologises for Ribena giving the impression that its ready-to-drink range of juices contains four times level of Vitamin C compared to orange juice.

“The testing method we used to determine the level of vitamin C in the ready-to-drink Ribena products were unreliable but we were unaware of it at the time. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do if we hope to rebuild consumer trust in the brand. But we’re totally committed to doing the right thing about fixing this issue.”

The ‘I am sorry’ campaign runs in print as well with a half-page apology published in Australia’s four main Saturday newspapers twice over a month. The court order for the apology ads only applies to the Australia and New Zealand region as it was two NZ school girls who uncovered the blackcurrant truths in their science experiment.

A NZ court then ordered GSK to run corrective advertising and that’s where we stand today. Have any of you guys managed to see the ads? Is it believable or does it look forced? Apparently sales of all Ribena products have dropped so they probably need to run some more ads stressing that it was just the ready-to-drink marketing which were all lies – would you trust them now though? It sort of reminds me of the McDonald TVC I saw in Australia, shortly after the Super Size Me 'scientific' findings came about. I did actually like those ads.

Note: The Ribena pictures shown here are screen shots taken from the Ribena UK site.

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