Those looking for investigative journalists to lift the lid on secrets lurking in vats of Dairy Milk would have been disappointed with Inside Cadbury (Channel 5, 7 June, 9pm) which was little better than an infomercial. An anodyne narration of the brand and its Bournville roots was followed by an almost embarrassingly sycophantic look at its many marketing campaigns before Kraft-shaped hiccups in the road were swiftly glossed over with a cup-and-a-half of British milk. It felt like an extended version of an employee welcome video.
Which is a shame because - as the show attempted to capture - Cadbury has a long and colourful back story full of brand firsts, business rivalries and a fierce British iconicism that led to protests at its acquisition by Kraft in 2010. And contrary to what the show suggested, it hasn’t solved every challenge with a Phil Collins song and a silverback. Years after both the takeover and that gorilla sat behind a drumkit, government was being called upon to safeguard jobs on the Cadbury production line with owner Mondelez accused of regularly breaking promises by the union. Not to mention the public furore over allegedly tweaked recipes or the leaking wastewater pipe in 2006 that reportedly cost the brand millions. Where these events were touched upon, it was swift, sanitised and brushed under the carpet.
No doubt Mondelez will love this airbrushed look at Cadbury’s long history. But anyone hoping to get below the surface of that purple wrapper would have been left seriously unsatisfied.