Matthew Clark is hoping to revive its fortunes with a fivefold increase in advertising spend and the launch of the UK’s first cider with a head.
The troubled drinks company, which blamed alcopops for the slump in its cider sales, announced the decision to reverse its former marketing investment strategies at its interim results, yesterday (Tuesday). Forty more marketing staff have been appointed and marketing consultancy Red Spider has been recruited.
Matthew Clark’s half-yearly pre-tax profits rose by 40 per cent to 21.6m, but the result was below expectations.
According to Matthew Clark, ad spend will increase from 2m by between 8m and 10m. Blackthorn Gold, a “smoothflow” cider with a foaming head, which took a year to develop, will be launched in the early summer backed by national TV advertising through roster agency Grey Advertising. The main Blackthorn cider brand will be relaunched with a new recipe and packaging, and further TV advertising, while Diamond White will be supported by a cinema and poster campaign.
Another new cider variant is also in the pipeline for sale in pubs. Distribution in the off-trade will follow. Matthew Clark Taunton, the branded drinks division of Matthew Clark, will also change its name to Matthew Clark Brands from May. The group’s wholesale division, Freetraders, has been renamed Matthew Clark Wholesale.
The company has yet to appoint a board marketing director and a chairman, following the sudden death of Michael Cottrell last October.