Food Advertising: Vanessa Feltz interviews Stefan Drew on Radio London
August 26, 2011
Earlier today I was interviewed by Vanessa Feltz on her BBC Radio London morning show. She asked me about how the advertising we see as children impacts our buying decisions in later life.
Usually these interviews are arranged a few hours or days in advance. But on this occasion a producer called me, asked if I'd take part in an interview and I was on air within 3-4 minutes.
Vanessa's view was that what we see advertised as children influences our buying habits for years. She suggested I should feel guilty each time I saw an obese person on the streets.
There are a couple of things this interview can teach.
Firstly, when being interviewed on live radio, you should be well prepared and know your subject well.
I had to agree with Vanessa. The adverts we see as kids do influence us in later life. But as I pointed out to her so does our life expereince from those days .. and they are probably even stronger. As I child I used to spend the summer with my grandfather and we used to finish the day with a supper of Jacobs Cream Crackers and cheese. It was a treat and I still crave cream crackers and cheese.
I hadn't intended to mention that childhood memory but interviews often bring to mind thoughts that didn't come up in your preparation. I'd actually thought about the 1950s and 60s Go to Work on an Egg campaign and mentioned it. This classic advertising campaign was devised by a team including Fay Weldon and at one time featured Tony Hancock and Patricia Hayes.
Both of the latter were household names in those days.
I still eat eggs! But was it because of the ads or because they happen to be a good, natural, versatile product that taste good?
Going back to preparation, the interviewer also needs to prepare well. Suggesting I ought to feel guilty about obese people backfired a bit because ethically I never get involved in advertising some products. As I explained to Vanessa I never get involved in advertising tobacco, armanents and, although I sometimes work with hotels and restaurants, I've never advertised food as such.
I suppose the morale to this is you that should never ask a question on air to which you don't know the answer. Again it comes back to preparation.
The second lesson is that getting in the media is still a good way to promote your business and is quite easy. It isn't a matter of chasing presenters and journalists and writing a lot of media releases (although this sometimes plays a part early in your interviewing career).
In reality, once you are well known, the media will chase you.
If you want to know how to get better known by the media give me a ring or send me an email. You and your business could be on the BBC very soon.
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