29 November 2013

Merger Talk Is 'Premature'

The Tripe Marketing Board has denied rumours that a merger with British Spleen could be on the cards by Christmas and has dismissed reports in the industry's trade journal, Offal Monthly as "premature speculation".

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Westhaughton Women's Institute this lunchtime, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "At this stage in discussions, speculation about a merger is premature and I would much prefer that to happen next week. It's true that a merger would offer both organisations significant cost savings, which could be passed on to the end user in the form of lower prices.  But it is far too early to be talking in terms of a full-scale merger when we haven't even decided who the chairman of the new organisation might be."

British Spleen has been in crisis talks with a number of offal marketing agencies after the Lancashire Evening Sentinel revealed that its president, Mr Reg Halliwell had submitted expense claims for over-the-counter cough remedies amounting to almost £15.

Responding to a question from the audience, Sir Norman said: "Whatever the outcome of the discussions may be, I want to assure tripe consumers that our 2014 Diary will continue to be on sale right through the run up to Christmas.  There's never been a better time to buy it and it has a Best Before date of 31 December 2014."

28 November 2013

TMB To Consider Plain Packaging for Tripe

The Tripe Marketing Board is considering the introduction of plain packaging for tripe in an attempt to stimulate sales to the coveted under 85 market.

TMB chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, said: "No matter how much we tell people that they shouldn't go by looks, it seems that the modern consumer judges the products they buy on appearance.

The future of tripe?
"Historically, tripe has been sold on open display in butchers' shops and on tripe stalls in markets -  mainly in the north of England.  Perhaps by packaging tripe in a plain, simple wrapper we could tempt consumers to try tripe?  That way, the battle is half won."

Before introducing the new packaging, the TMB is conducting a survey to determine whether the strategy will work.  If the results are positive, plain-packaged tripe could be on sale as early as January 2014.

The quick survey can be found here.

Speaking at a meeting of the Lytham Round Table last night, Sir Norman said: "We have to admit that tripe isn't the best looking meat on the butchers' block, but what it lacks in looks it more than makes up for in personality. We're open to try anything that stimulates interest in tripe. Even camouflage."

Sir Norman told the meeting that sales of the Tripe Marketing Board's 2014 Diary were going well in the run-up to Christmas, but that some people hadn't realised that they shouldn't judge a book by its cover.  "As we always say with tripe - it's what's on the inside that counts!  Our Diary makes the perfect gift, whether for the busy executive  or for someone who just wants to surprise a friend, relative or workmate with an unusual secret Santa present."

It's Official! David 'Bumble' Lloyd is the Greatest Lancastrian 2013

After a month of voting and over 1200 responses, the results of TMB Books' online poll to find the Greatest Lancastrian 2013 have now been collated.
The poll, which closed at midnight on Lancashire Day (27 November 2013), drew some surprising responses, with some iconic Lancashire figures such as Robert Peel and Mike Harding getting no votes at all.

And despite polling almost 100 votes, last year's winner Fred Dibnah was pushed into third place.  Fred's promotion of all things Lancastrian made him a popular choice, but it wasn't enough to win this year's poll.

In second place was popular Lancashire comedian Eric Morecambe, polling 140 votes and over 11% of the total.  Curiously, Eric's long-time partner Ernie Wise was in fact born on Lancashire Day in 1925!

But this year's winner was Lancashire's favourite son, former England opening batsman and Sky Sports cricket commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd. David Lloyd surprised the world when he put the spotlight on one of Lancashire's favourite foodstuffs - tripe - during commentary on the Ashes in the summer.  He was later pictured wearing a Choose Tripe t-shirt whilst recuperating from a knee operation in hospital.

Mr Lloyd polled 154 votes and took a commanding lead from the start. 

Tripe Marketing Board chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, said: "I have no doubt that the fact that Mr Lloyd took up the banner of tripe in the summer strengthened his Lancashire credentials. I would like to offer my fulsome congratulations to him - to my mind, after his sterling promotion of tripe during the Ashes, the result was never in doubt."

Other strong contenders in the poll were the Salford bard, John Cooper Clarke (84 votes), Gerrard Winstanley, the Wigan-born Leveller who polled 70 votes and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who collected 56 votes.

Sir Norman said: "This poll shows that tastes can change from year to year. Last year, Mr  Winstanley came a creditable second.  He clearly hasn't had much media coverage this year and has dropped from the public eye. Perhaps he needs to change his agent".

In a parallel poll, 83% of respondents said they hadn't eaten tripe in over 10 years. Sir Norman said: "We'll be drilling down into these figures to see what they mean for our marketing strategy in 2014.  At first sight they may not be encouraging, but the devil will be in the fine detail."

Sir Norman said he was heartened that almost 68% of respondents thought that the Tripe Marketing Board was the cheapest supplier of dates. "Our decision to link up with the Tunisian Date Marketing Bureau to publish our 2014 Tripe Marketing Board Diary has obviously struck a chord with the public. Being able to supply 365 dates for only £5.99 or less has put a shot across the bows of the major supermarkets, and no mistake!"


27 November 2013

Lancashire Day

Today is Lancashire Day!  All across the county the Tripe Marketing Board will be celebrating this historic day by asking Lancastrians to sample a bit of tripe and to take part in its poll to find 2013's Greatest Lancastrian.

Sir Norman Wrassle, chairman of the TMB, said: "What better way can there be to celebrate Lancashire Day than by tucking into a nice hot bowl of tripe and onions, the traditional dish that built the county?  If you haven't tried tripe before, there's never been a better day to do it!"

Sir Norman will be speaking later today at a meeting of the Parbold Women's Institute, where he will be signing copies of the Tripe Marketing Board's 2014 Diary.  Sir Norman said: "This is the first time we've made our diary available to a wider public and it makes a great Christmas present for anyone even faintly interested in Lancashire's most historic foodstuff."

Sir Norman will also outline plans for promoting the TMB Christmas Party Plan in an attempt to increase tripe sales in the run up to the festive season.

24 November 2013

Tripe Sales Fall

UK tripe sales were down for the third quarter of 2013 (July-September) as unseasonably cold weather hit demand, according to the latest figures from the European Office Of Tripe Consumption in Brussels.

Sales are also expected to be down for the fourth quarter (September-December) due to unseasonably warm weather. This means that tripe sales will have fallen for the last 225 consecutive quarters.

A Tripe Marketing Board spokesman said, “We know we can't count on the weather to help us promote tripe, but we can only hope it is neither unseasonably warm nor unseasonably cold in the next 56 years.”

Sales of the TMB's 2014 Diary are expected to increase slightly as Christmas approaches. Sir Norman Wrassle, chairman of the TMB said, "Everyone likes a few dates at Christmas and we've got hundreds in our Diary."

13 November 2013

New Face At The TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board has announced the appointment of Mr Thabo Mophring to its management board.

Mr Thabo Mophring
Mr Mophring is a keen user of social media and has declared his love of tripe on various occasions on Twitter.  Sir Norman Wrassle, chairman of the TMB, said: "We're delighted to have Mr Mophring on board at what is an exciting time for tripe.   When we inaugurated World Tripe Day last month, we realised that the time was ripe to appoint someone who would have special responsibility for international tripe relations."

Sir Norman denied reports in Offal Monthly that Mr Mophring's appointment might bankrupt the TMB if he claimed expenses from his South African home to board meetings in Preston. Sir Norman said: "I am assured that we will be able to use state-of-the-art technology such as Skype so that Mr Mophring can take part in proceedings without being physically present in the room, but I look forward to meeting him during regular fact-finding trips to Africa over the coming months."

Full details of the TMB's board can be found here.

10 November 2013

TMB Fears 'Perfect Storm' On Twitter

The Tripe Marketing Board was bracing itself for what experts have dubbed the "perfect storm" on Twitter tonight as British TV viewers hunkered down to watch The X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey.

Professor Arthur Bragg, head of media studies at Wigan University and TV pundit for the East Lancashire News, warned: "This really is the worst possible combination for the TMB.  Its media monitoring unit stands no chance of rebutting the misuse of the word tripe on Twitter tonight!"

The TMB's media monitoring unit - already being scaled down following budget cuts - said it would continue to monitor Twitter as part of its efforts to ensure tripe wasn't maligned by association with some of the TV programmes that are scheduled on Sunday evening.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Despite the cutbacks, it's important we challenge the way people bandy the word tripe around without thinking of other words they could use.  What's wrong with codswallop, for instance?"

Second Fridge Claim Was Wrong Says TMB Board Member

A member of the Tripe Marketing Board has apologised for claiming expenses for electricity to supply a fridge in an outhouse of his Blackburn home.

The expenses relate to Arthur Zahawi's second fridge and Mr Zahawi has voluntarily contacted the tripe industry's expenses watchdog after the Blackburn Mirror reported last week that he had claimed over £3,000 in the year up to March.  Mr Zahawi said that ITSA, the Independent Tripe Standards Authority, had included claims for the previous year and the figure was nearer £258.

In a statement issued on Saturday, he said: "I have been looking into this matter further and can confirm that all claims for fuel relate purely to my second fridge.  However, I have made a mistake with my electricity claims.  On investigation I discovered that electricity for a small fridge located in an outhouse was linked to my house."

"Whilst a meter was installed in the outhouse, I have only been receiving one bill; it was wrong to assume I was receiving two and to have not checked this sooner"

Mr Zawahi said he was "mortified" and said he would pay the money back to the TMB immediately.

Sir Norman Wrassle, chairman of the TMB, said he was satisfied that Mr Zawahi had made a simple mistake, and welcomed his offer to repay the money.  He said: "I am sure people will understand that this was nothing more than an administrative error on the part of Mr Zawahi.  Given the aroma of tripe, it is not unusual for people to want to store their tripe in a fridge outside of their main home."

5 November 2013

TMB Lets The Dogs Out

The Tripe Marketing Board has unveiled plans to test-market a proposed advertising campaign in the north west following "disappointing" second quarter sales.

Is Ralph the new canine face of tripe?
Speaking at a meeting of Formby Women's Institute last night, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Tripe is stuck between a rock and a hard place. For the last 18 months we have been promoting the idea that tripe isn't just for dogs, yet the campaign hasn't had the impact it might have done.  We've decided it's time to play to our strengths, and the new campaign - if it goes ahead - will certainly do that!"

Sir Norman said: "We have to admit that sales of tripe in the second quarter of 2013 were disappointing - despite our best endeavours.  I'm cautiously optimistic that all the excitement around  World Tripe Day last month will - in time - show through in improved sales.  But until then, we cannot stand idly by and must redouble our efforts to make tripe the popular foodstuff it once was."

The Tripe Marketing Board has launched a campaign to find a new canine 'poster boy/girl' which has already had some success on Twitter, using the 'hashtag' #tripedog. Ralph, who features in the new test-marketing programme, was one of over 20 dogs who put himself forward to be the canine face of tripe in 2014.  The campaign will continue until the end of November, when Lady Cheryl Wrassle will judge the results.

The test-marketing involves posters being displayed in the Bolton, Bury and Wigan areas on municipal park fences, lamp posts and traffic lights.  "Our research suggests dog owners respond well to pictures of dogs on posters in precisely these places," Sir Norman added.

2 November 2013

TMB Chairman Denies I’m A Celebrity Rumours

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has denied rumours that he has been offered a three figure sum to appear on ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

Speaking from
Perth, Western Australia, Sir Norman said: “There is absolutely no truth in these rumours whatsoever.  I’m out here as a guest of my good friend Mr David Lloyd to watch a bit of cricket and to establish good relations with our colleagues at the Australian Tripe Marketing Board. 

“I’ve eaten tripe for most of my life so the Bushtucker Trials would hold no fear for me. In fact, I think I would quite enjoy them. However, there is no way I would take my clothes off and shower for less than £1,000. If they want me to appear, they know where I am - the Parmelia Hilton, 14 Mill St, Perth. Telephone +61 8 9215 2000." 

Sir Norman appeared on a similar programme, Híres Vagyok Hogy Egy Darázs a Számba (I’m Famous Put A Wasp In My Mouth) on Hungarian TV in 2003.