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Posted on Fri 9th Aug, 2013 in: Industry Comment, Influence, Public Relations by Tim Downs

Love it or hate it (well that has given it away already) there is only one winner this week. Consistently creative, always on message and sometimes controversial - in a water-cooler moment type of way - Marmite has finally hit the front page headlines this week with its latest advertising campaign. Its spoof documentary style advert, featuring squads rescuing 'neglected' jars that have been languishing in larders and lurking in cupboards, received more than 250 complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency in 24 hours. It's now clocked over 400 in four days. It's not simply for being controversial that it is our influencer of the week. It's just how they have managed to create a media storm and indeed a national debate about what is in 'poor taste'. It's so on message it can't even be described as ironic that those complaining have created a fertile debate that simply fuels the brand's fire. Whilst half of the country has gone into an apoplectic frenzy, accusing the brand of everything from mocking animal welfare groups to making light of child protection issues, the other half has reacted with equal zeal to the (over)reaction, with a flurry of 'Has the world gone mad' headlines. All the while sat in the middle is little old Marmite, with its most innocent of innocent faces on. But what else has happened? Well lots of people have remembered that they too have a jar of Marmite somewhere, and have probably tried to dig it out. We've remembered its unnatural ability to not go off - the perfect emergency staple. And more likely decided it's time to replace our own ageing jar with crusty bits and the lid that won't come off. Although, I've always been more of a Bovril man myself. A worthy influencer of the week if ever there was one?

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