It's not just England's current cricketers that are having a bad season - Beefy and Lamby have been ditched as the faces of Eblex's meat adverts.

Ian Botham and Allan Lamb have promoted beef and lamb since 2004, but Eblex did not renew their contracts when they ended early this year.

The ads featuring the former cricketers are being replaced by a new campaign in the spring focusing on the Eblex Quality Standard mark's values of assurance and eating quality.

The levy body insisted the pair were a success in raising the profile of the Eblex mark, and cited research showing high awareness of it among its target 35 to 55-year-old housewives.

Eblex rejected the suggestion that Botham and Lamb were ditched because they were not well recognised by today's consumers.

"Eblex's promotional strategy is one that must continually evolve to meet changing consumer demands while delivering a cost-effective return on levy payer investment," said Eblex chief executive Richard Lowe.

The new campaign is part of Eblex's £4m promotional spend for 2009/10. It will be launched in time for the start of the barbecue season, which is a key period for household beef and lamb purchases, and it will include press and online marketing emphasising the eating quality and high level of assurance associated with quality English beef and lamb.

"A new online execution has been designed to drive traffic to Eblex's existing online Quality Standard Recipe Club, where consumers can be educated and inspired about cooking with quality beef and lamb," Lowe added. The approach was a response to a shift in consumer attitudes toward food and the boom in online media consumption, he said.

Current Quality Standard beef and lamb promotional activity featuring celebrity chefs and the Tuck-In recipe magazine will continue to run alongside the new campaign.