British Food Firms
Summary of the Article
This article is basically about the advertisements run by two leading British food firms i.e. GlaxoSmithKline who are the producers of Horlicks and Nestlé Company that manufactures Maggi Noodles. The issue that was raised on their advertisements was that both the companies made eccentric claims in their advertisements that their products are very nutritious and thus benefit the consumers.
The advertisements claimed that using these products the children will grow taller, do better work at school, become faster at sports and stronger. What these companies did was that they produced commercials for the Nepalese TV and the voices used in the commercials were Bangladeshi and were shown in numerous houses in the UK via satellite. Only after the investigation held by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), GSK and Nestle have been ordered to ensure the adverts are never broadcasted again in Britain. (Solomons, 2008).
Both the companies insisted that they were unaware of the fact that the ads were shown up in the UK. However, it has provided an insight into what many viewers consider a cynical ploy by advertisers to take advantage of differences in foreign broadcast rules.
The ad aired by Horlicks showed the children at a boarding school who were being given the drink as a part of their daily routine. However, some were given the drink that included Horlicks in its ingredients and some were given an unbranded health drink. This experiment continued for a period of fourteen months after which a conclusion was drawn that the students who took Horlicks were seen in lessons, performing ballet, boxing, running across a giant Scrabble board and jumping giving the conclusion that children who take Horlicks have actually have become taller, stronger and sharper.
The ad run by Nestle for its snack, Maggi Noodles was based on a child in a tug-of-war team who goes to his home to eat his mean and his mother says that Maggi is the best and further claiming that it has essentials such as proteins and calcium that helps to build strong muscles and bones. Furthermore, the company claimed that Maggi provide 20 percent of the nutrients of protein and calcium required by a child with accordance with the United Nations and World Health Organization. But this was rejected by the ASA after it consulted the FSA. To make the ad clearer, the biceps and the knee of the boy are highlighted with a yellow glow to show that his muscles became stronger.
In the European Union it is prohibited to make relations between foods and health claims that are not standardized. GSK and Nestle said that these ads were being aired in the UK without their knowledge or consent and they also said that they had passed the legal requirements for broadcast in Bangladesh, where they were aimed, furthermore a spokesman also said that the brand Horlicks being sold in India is a completely different formulation and product to the one in the UK.
Competitive advantage is basically defined as an advantage over other competitors and there are different ways in which competitive advantage can be gained. In general it means providing the customer with the best value package possible and if an organization has gained these advantage customers would then prefer to buy their products rather than switch to another brand. This is an important and a successful way to attract and retain customers in a way that both ends, the consumer as well as the organization, get maximum benefit.
In the modern world of globalization this phenomenon has gained even more importance and this is because the same value is being provided by many sellers as previously a product was sold by limited sellers due to which competition was not high. The consumers had no choice in buying their required articles but now there are numerous companies selling a particular product which has lead to high competitiveness and thus competitive advantage. Therefore, both the companies, GSK and Nestle are portraying themselves as the best choice for the mothers to include both the products i.e. Horlicks as well as Maggi Noodles in the diet of their kids. (David, 2008).
David,F. (2008). Strategic Management: Concepts & Cases. 12th Edn. Prentice-Hall, Hardcover.
Solomons, M. (2008). Row over ads for Horlicks ‘that makes children tall.’
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