Ribena tries to berry the hatchet

Proving that media buyers are just computer-literate versions of the hagglers in Middle Eastern bazaars is the close relationship between SmithKline Beecham and MediaCom – which recently won SB’s centralised media-buying business.

MediaCom already handled most of SB’s business and so highly does SB rate the negotiating skills of Andrew Goulborn, who runs its account, that it has in the past used him to squeeze the pips of its Ribena blackcurrant growers.

The hapless growers of Europe didn’t know what hit them, what with the long lunches, convoluted negotiations and personal insults Goulborn had picked up while working with TV contractors.

The prices farmers charge for the fruit have never recovered.

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