Irish beef takes on safety concerns with soft sell

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Dublin -- Bord Bia, the Irish state-financed food health and marketing authority, has reacted to the pan-European health scare over beef with the launch of a TV, radio and print campaign aimed at reassuring consumers. The campaign takes flight as several key markets around the world have closed for Irish beef, including Egypt and some countries in the Middle East. Devised by Owens DDB, Dublin, and part funded by the European Union, the ads take a soft line on the scare. So-called "mad cow disease" BSE has not been detected in beef herds in Ireland, unlike some other countries such as France and Germany. Bord Bia's campaign therefore focuses on the quality and value of Irish beef products. "Our campaign features information and recipes for beef," says Bord Bia Marketing Director Georgina O'Sullivan. "We had a moment of hesitation to decide when was the best time to launch the campaign, but judged that we could be seen to be running scared if we did not." The $2 million effort will run on RTE, TG4, Network 2 and TV3.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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