BP promos were hardly wallpaper

I would like to take issue with Matthew Hooper of Interfocus over his comments in your report “The prize is right” (MW September 6).

He claims the work for BP preceding his efforts was “not particularly successful and had become wallpaper”. This is grossly unfair on the client team and the agency, of which I was a member.

At that time, the world of petrol promotions was over populated with short and long-term schemes, all based on the central premise that, if you buy enough petrol to get you to Bombay and back, you can send away for a free sports bag. After the glory days of games of the Eighties that was what the motorist wanted – and God knows, we researched it enough.

The last campaign under the Options umbrella offered a range of 12 high street vouchers and two charities as rewards, which did well against Shell’s “Collect & Select”, and has been emulated since. Even then, we ran short-term promotions, with on-site redemptions offering music and video.

So in all this, and what followed under Interfocus, there is nothing startling or innovative, just good, workmanlike, added-value promotion. I don’t believe it helps our industry to slag off the past efforts of others or, for that matter, to claim ground-breaking innovation for what is basically more of the same.

David Parratt



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