Friday 28 November 2014

The Punt - Moy Park birds flying high after World Cup

Published 19/08/2014 | 02:30

Janet McCollum, chief executive, Moy Park
Janet McCollum, chief executive, Moy Park
Former Taoiseach John Bruton

Those who watched the World Cup will have seen Moy Park on the advertising hoardings surrounding the pitches.

The Punt is curious though. While watching the world's teams battle it out on the pitch, did the advertising have the subliminal effect of making you want to buy a chicken from the Northern Irish company?

Well, it must have worked on some because the company has claimed it enjoyed a 15.4pc increase in sales of breaded chicken products between May and July thanks to its World Cup sponsorship. And its share of the fresh breaded category has risen to almost 25pc.

"The 2014 FIFA World Cup sponsorship was a huge opportunity for Moy Park to raise its profile on a global scale," Andrew Nethercott, Moy Park director of brand marketing said.

"Sitting alongside global brands such as McDonald's and Budweiser, our challenge, as a brand not normally associated with football, was to make our voice heard."

The company also ran two World Cup inspired on-pack promotions, which it claimed contributed to the increase in sales. Over 34,000 shoppers entered the competitions, which offered a trip for two to a World Cup semi-final.

All cynicism aside, it seems to have worked, although we're not clear as to how much was spent on the deal.

Halloween bankers

Irish bankers occasionally suggest to The Punt that public opprobrium towards them might be a little bit overdone. It's a conversation that tends to run along the lines of, "of course it's terrible what happened, but."

Few go quite as far as former Taoiseach John Bruton, right, who has compared those blaming bankers for the crisis to 17th century peasants blaming witches for outbreaks of plague etc.

We're still scratching our heads as to whether he thinks there really were witches in 17th century Europe, who were unfairly blamed for spreading the plague, or if he believes innocent non-witches were scapegoated.

Regardless, public perception of the sector won't be helped by articles in this newspaper highlighting the outsized returns banks are now making on new mortgages, including margins of 3pc on 4.5pc home loans.

Books full of unprofitable historic loans means lenders are under pressure to squeeze profits where they can.

But given everything that has happened, being seen to suck dry the very public that bailed them out looks positively vampiric.

Take a holiday from emails

THE Punt likes to think it works hard. We get in (reasonably) early and leave (relatively) late. That isn't always enough though. For many workers, time on the couch in the evening is actually time checking emails.

A fascinating study from McKinsey shows that about 28pc of our working day is now spent sifting through, writing, and reading email.

That means a whitecollar worker earning €75,000 a year is paid about €20,000 annually just to manage their email account.

It is easy to believe this is the case. In The Punt's world, email is first checked in bed and doesn't really stop until we are putting the head down 16 or so hours later.

Stories abound about underlings reduced to quivering wrecks because their boss is firing out mails at 11pm. The boss means the mails as FYIs for the next morning; the underling sees them as tasks that need to be completed immediately. Burnout, resentment and fatigue follows.

Perhaps other companies should follow Mercedes Benz, which now blocks email for two weeks when staff are away.

There is a lot to be said for an email holiday.

 

 

 

Irish Independent

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