I still think the Gok Wan clothing range will have a more material impact on Sainsbury’s bottom line, but there’s no doubt this week’s marquee signing of David Beckham to be the face of Sainsbury’s Paralympics and Active Kids work is terrific news for the Holborn retailer.
If Jamie Oliver is a saint, Beckham is royalty. And how he hasn’t received a knighthood for his contribution to the UK economy is beyond me after all his many selfless acts.I’m not suggesting he is signing up for entirely selfless reasons. With the fee worth up to £5m, it makes Oliver’s pay packet look meagre. Who knows: perhaps Oliver wanted more!
But as well as supporting the less physically able, Beckham is also lending his considerable marketing weight to tackling the obesity crisis. And it’s no stretch to argue he’s doing so out of conviction as much as for the money.Critics have suggested Sainsbury’s should be investing the money in lower prices. I don’t agree.
A £5m investment in prices is a drop in the ocean, representing 0.00000025% of Sainsbury’s sales, and would be lost. As a marketing investment, however, it can have a real impact. The only question I have is, for whom.
Depending on execution, Beckham can potentially have a far more positive impact on the nation’s waistlines than not only those useless Change for Life ads, but all manner of measures dreamt up in Andrew Lansley’s vision of ‘responsibility’.
Yet will this be one of the measures used by the DH now that, as we reveal this week, it is planning to measure the success of the Responsibility Deal (p4)? I doubt it. Sainsbury’s will be castigated because it sells pizzas and confectionery and soft drinks.
And not enough has been done to reduce the salt in its bacon and cheese.I’m surprised no one has observed that it’s partly the same inactivity, as children gorp at the telly and toggle away furiously at their gaming machines, that has resulted in the increased incidence of rickets. Should Nintendo and Sony sign up to the Responsibility Deal? What about Microsoft, apple, ITV and Google? The case is just as strong.