Suppliers should help pay the cost of ads

I read Iain Murray’s Last Word claiming that chicken farmers are paying for Marks & Spencer’s womenswear advertising (MW last week) and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Most retailers ask their suppliers to contribute to the cost of advertising and promoting their product. Why? Because suppliers, as well as retailers, benefit from the investment.

Our food ads drove extraordinary demand for our chicken, just as they did for the other products we¡ showcased. Our sales of chocolate puddings, for example, went up more than 3,000%.

What’s more, the halo effect of our advertising last year generated an increase in footfall and sales not just in our food halls, but right across our stores. Not surprisingly, this didn’t

make our suppliers unhappy. It’s a shame that Marketing Week, normally a champion of the power of advertising, can’t recognise this too.

Steve Sharp

Executive director of marketing, e-commerce, store design and development

Marks & Spencer

London

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