Bernard Matthews launches Xmas ad depsite bird flu fears

Bernard Matthews is pushing ahead with plans for a Christmas ad campaign despite fears about bird flu and a turkey shortage. The campaign aims to reinforce the message that turkey makes the festive season.

The ad, which will break on December 7, will show a “perfectly cooked” Golden Norfolk Turkey and will focus on the carving and how succulent and versatile the meat is. It will be supported by online campaign and an on-pack promotion. It is understood to have been created by its ad agency, BLAC, which was appointed earlier this summer.

Bernard Matthews has had a difficult year as sales slumped following a bird flu outbreak at one of its Norfolk farms in February this year although it is not affect by the latest outbreak. It has also been hit by criticism of its products by health campaigners and allegations of animal cruelty.

Matt Pullen, marketing director at Bernard Matthews, says: “Turkey is at the core of the Bernard Matthews brand – we’ve been at the heart of the Christmas dinner for the last 50 years – so it’s essential for us to put major support behind our British hero, the Golden Norfolk Turkey and to highlight our turkey know-how during the festive season.”

A spokeswoman for the company adds that its Christmas stock was finalised “a while ago” and it is confident in its products.