We’ve been talking about how to write this blog for some weeks, but we were worried about stepping over the mark, but after reading the Felicty Loudon’s interview in the Sunday Telegraph about Cadbury, we thought we should write something.
It’s been an interesting few weeks with the Kraft offer for Cadbury. Like most people it was a surprise to hear that someone had made a bid and naturally when it happens you wonder what impact it’s going to have on you, your Clients and the projects you’re planning, and whether or not you think it’s going to be good or bad for you.
But in this instance, you wonder whether or not it’s something that you want to see happen, for more profound reasons. whether or not you should talk about it.
It’s been a long time since Cadbury was a British family owned business. The reality is that it’s owned by global financial institutions, but spiritually it’s a British institution and the ethos, values and Company still feels like a family run British business. Some would argue (probably correctly) that for Cadbury to become a true global player and compete against Kraft, Nestle etc in all major markets quickly it needs huge investment, but you have to question at what price for Britain.
Over the years we’ve lost the majority of our manufacturing business, and with it, a number of our institutions. We might all mock the French protectionist approach (along with their EU subsidies to support their farmers), but they do seem to protect their cultural icons.
It feels slightly xenophobic and Daily Mail wondering whether or not we should all be out trying to “save Cadbury from Kraft”. But it’s not an anti-American thing, we love Michelle Obama, Grey Goose and steaming man hole covers (always makes one smile reading that) and most of us have worked for American Companies and had or have American Clients. Truth be told, we love working with them and for them, but it just makes us feel a little strange the thought of something so British being sold.
It feels as though everything can be bought if it helps global expansion (yes we’ve heard the argument that it’s going to help protect British jobs), but doesn’t anyone else feel strange knowing that Jaguar, Aston Martin, Tetley, Innocent, Harrods, Man Utd, Man City and even HP sauce are no longer British. Well if the answers no, then we’re being old fashioned.
If the answers yes, shouldn’t we say and do something about it?