Walkers pulls campaign in wake of flood damage

Walkers Crisps has pulled its latest TV ad campaign amid concerns it would cause offence to people caught in the flood crisis because it made light of the rainy British summer. The ad featured Walkers brand icon Gary Lineker and a group of singing and dancing potato farmers. Lineker’s larking about ends up with him covered in mud.

The campaign, which has been created by Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO and was due to break on August 1, aimed to highlight the brand’s decision to switch to using 100% British potatoes for its Walkers crisps brand.

Walkers says the campaign has been delayed for the “next two weeks at least”. In a statement, the snacks company adds: “We have taken the decision to delay the launch of our television advertising campaign announcing our commitment to sourcing 100% British potatoes. The theme of the advertising is British weather which we don’t feel is an appropriate message during the current flooding crisis.”

According to Walkers, the ad was intended to be a “fun celebration” of Walkers farmers and the unpredictable British weather. The TV execution, which was Lineker’s 75th for the brand, was due to be supported by an outdoor campaign and point of sale activity.

Walkers says that it has decided to switch to British potatoes to support the farming industry and lower its carbon footprint.

Large sections of central and southern England as well as North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire have been in chaos over the past five days due to heavy rain at the end of last week. The rain has led to several rivers bursting their banks, resulting in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire in particular suffering from power and water cuts.

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