30 January 2014

Final Quarter 2013 Tripe Sales Down

UK tripe sales were down for the fourth quarter of 2013 (October-December) as unseasonably mild 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 first quarter of 2014 following what TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle called "disappointing" January consumption figures.

Sir Norman said: "There's no doubt that the wet January will have impacted severely on sales. We can only hope that our Valentine's Day campaign lifts the figures in February."

The TMB Valentine's Day campaign kicks off in Bolton on Monday 3 February with posters booked for selected bus stops throughout the town.

28 January 2014

TMB To Review Twitter Campaign

The Tripe Marketing Board will be reviewing its social media strategy following the publication of a new study revealing that over 30% of its followers on Twitter are dogs.

The study, by MSL Market Research Ltd, suggests that most Twitter followers of @TripeUK (the TMB's Twitter identity) live in the north of England and that the average age for all followers is just 15. This runs counter to previous polling by the TMB which showed that the average age of tripe consumers was 83. 

Chief executive Bryan Atkinson said: "We are increasingly concerned that our social media presence is working against our general campaign themes.  Most dogs live on average somewhere between 10 or 12 years, and I am sure this is skewing the age statistics.  We need to re-inforce the message that tripe isn't just for dogs."

From the middle of 2012, the TMB began investing heavily in a social networking strategy ensuring that tripe had a presence on both Twitter and Facebook, underpinned by a programme of intern recruitment at the University of Wigan.

Colin Bland, editor of the monthly magazine Dogs Today said he wasn't surprised by the findings. "Dogs are, by their nature, gregarious creatures and they have embraced Twitter in huge numbers.  It's hardly a shock that they would follow a marketing board promoting a foodstuff that is so inherently attractive to them."

22 January 2014

Tripe Promotes Independence For Youngsters

Sir Norman Wrassle
Serving tripe just three times a week could help youngsters become more independent, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told an audience of Chorley Rotarians last night.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of young adults living with their parents has increased by a quarter since 1996.   A total of 3.3 million 20- to 34-year-olds lived with their parents in 2013 - the highest number since the ONS started keeping records.

Sir Norman said: "Youngsters these days have grown accustomed to staying on in their parents' home, cosseted by free access to satellite TV, fridges full of easy-to-cook ready meals and their own king-size double beds.  It wasn't like that in my day.  We need to promote independence amongst our children, helping them to take the first steps to finding their own feet in life."

He said tripe had an important part to play, relating how his own parents had served tripe at least three times a week while he was growing up.  The TMB was engaged in a campaign to win the hearts and minds of youngsters, and would continue arguing that tripe wasn't just for the over-85s and dogs.

"I myself left home as soon as I could and I am convinced my parents' persistance in serving tripe played a great role in making sure I did," he said.

21 January 2014

Apology Sought After Paxman Tripe Slur

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called for Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman to apologise and retract a statement in which he compared tripe to suggestions that BBC2's flagship news programme was 'dumbing down'.

Huffington Post, 21 January 2014
Mr Paxman's comments came as he defended the show, which featured co-presenter Kirsty Wark dancing to Michael Jackson's Thriller during the programme which aired on Halloween last year.

Speaking at a hastily-arranged press conference this afternoon, Sir Norman said: "I have had quite enough of the metropolitan elite thinking they can cast aspersions on tripe like this.  Mr Paxman is just the latest in a long-line of people who should know better."

Sir Norman pointed to the difficulties faced by the Tripe Marketing Board in promoting its product against a background of media criticism.  "It's bad enough trying to persuade people to eat the stuff in the first place, even without unhelpful remarks by people like Paxman," he said.   The continued association of tripe with something of inferior quality had to be challenged at every opportunity, and he said he would be writing to Mr Paxman to seek a retraction of his remarks.

Sir Norman said: "People in the public eye should think twice before they use the word tripe in such a way.  I am a huge fan of Kirsty Wark's work  and would personally like to see her dancing more often on Newsnight - she'd be well suited to something like the Lambada, though after recent allegations about other BBC presenters I would advise her to choose her partners carefully."

The Tripe Marketing Board has been monitoring Mr Paxman's comments ever since his infamous "absolute tripe" comments during a discussion on the Eurozone in 2012.

"It was only a matter of time before he offended again," Sir Norman said. "Like Boris Johnson, we're dealing with a serial offender here.  Nothing less than a public apology can repair the damage to the  reputation of tripe."

16 January 2014

Wigan Needs Own Minister Says TMB

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board will be lobbying the government to appoint a Minister for Wigan, chairman Sir Norman Wrassle announced this morning.

The move comes after suggestions that former Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Fallon will be the new Minister for Portsmouth, following the decision in November to move Navy shipbuilding to Scotland and the closure of the city's BAE Systems yard causing huge job losses.

Sir Norman said: "A Minister for Wigan offers the chance to revitalise the tripe industry in 2014.  Governments of all political persuasions have sat idly by while tripe sales have continued to decline.  This move could potentially turn that round and create dozens of jobs in the tripe industry."

Unseasonably wet weather has again hit UK tripe sales, according to provisional figures released by the EU Office of Tripe Consumption last week.

"Although my role at the TMB takes up much of my time, I would be personally prepared to make the sacrifice if the job was offered to me," Sir Norman said.

11 January 2014

TMB Chairman's Open Letter To The Mayor Of London

Dear Mayor Johnson

On January 6th you wrote in the Daily Telegraph that a piece by Tristram Hunt MP in the Observer deserved ‘a Nobel Prize for Tripe’.

As far as I am aware, there is no such prize and I must therefore assume this was intended as an insult.

The Tripe Marketing Board is strictly non-party political and we have no wish to take sides in your disagreement with Mr Hunt about who started World War 1. (My own view is that you should settle the matter in a gentlemanly way, perhaps in a chess-boxing match, a sport which, I am pleased to say, is becoming increasingly popular in this country. I took part in a chess-boxing match several years ago and emerged victorious after knocking out my opponent as he was about to checkmate me).

We take a very dim view,
however, of the defamatory use of the word tripe to mean something of inferior quality and have been campaigning for the dictionary definition of the word tripe to be changed, sadly without success so far.

I therefore invited you to do the decent thing - apologise immediately and take the Tripe Taste Challenge as a sign of your contrition. So far, I have not received a reply and must assume you are agonising over whether or not to accept my invitation.

First of all, let me reassure you that there is no risk to your health. The last fatality caused by tripe consumption in the UK occurred in 1946.

You will not be the first politician to take the Tripe Taste Challenge. Last year, Mr Andrew Percy MP committed a similar faux pas and very sportingly took the Tripe Taste Challenge at a supermarket in Goole. He is alive and well today, to the best of my knowledge.

Tripe is an unfairly denigrated food and has a long and noble place in history. As a classics scholar, you are no doubt aware that the Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus sang its praises. In Homer's Iliad, Agamemnon's cooks mollify the surly Achilles with a bowl of tripe.

You probably think few Londoners eat tripe, that it is only fit for over 85s, dogs and northerners and that your comments will therefore have no impact on your chances of re-election at the 2016 mayoral elections. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to my research, there are over one million pensioners and four million northerners living in London, many of whom will have been offended by your choice of words, not to mention the many French, Spanish and Italian residents of London who consider tripe a delicacy.

Tripe is a favourite food of many top chefs and is served in some of the finest London restaurants. In short, sir, you have offended not only elderly working class Londoners and exiled northerners but many EU citizens, young professionals and gastronomes.

May I respectfully suggest that if tripe was good enough for Achilles, it is good enough for the Mayor of London.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Sir Norman Wrassle
Tripe Marketing Board

9 January 2014

Home Economics Guru Says TRIPES are the New BEEFS

A leading home economist has said Turkestan, Romania, Ireland, Poland and Estonia hold the key to future growth in meat consumption.

Addressing a  meeting of the Fylde Women's Guild today, Dr Tim McNeill of the University of Wigan said that the so-called 'TRIPE' countries are set to be the new powerhouse in the years ahead.

"These countries have large numbers of cattle and a large number of over 85s and are therefore well placed to forge ahead of Belgium, Ecuador, Egypt and France - the so-called 'BEEFS' - with their much younger populations," he said.

Dr McNeill forecast that there could be a possible threat from Turkey, Oman, Finland and Uganda, but remained confident that the TRIPES would be in the ascendancy particularly if another country beginning with O could be found to join forces with Oman, Norway, India and Nepal.


8 January 2014

Tripe Marketing Board Hits Back At Spoof Claims

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has hit back at claims that it is a spoof organisation. The claim was made in today’s London Times by a Mr Patrick Kidd who claims to be working for an organisation called  TMS.

Speaking from his Lytham home where he is convalescing after twisting his ankle on a skiing holiday, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:

“Mr Kidd accuses us of being a spoof organisation -albeit ‘a very good one’- but of what exactly? The real Tripe Marketing Board?  Let me assure Mr Kidd that there is only one Tripe Marketing Board. And that is us.

“I’m not sure who the TMS is but it sounds like it is a spoof organisation – and a not very good one at that.  I assume TMS is meant to stand for the Tripe Marketing Society. What makes matters worse is that they are claiming to be selling their own Diary.

“Let me make this perfectly clear. There is only one Tripe Marketing Board Diary and it is still for sale on Amazon at just £4.99.

“On a more positive note, I would like to thank Mr Kidd for his support in encouraging Mayor of London Boris Johnson to respond positively to my invitation to take the Tripe Taste Challenge. But it must be the real Boris Johnson. Not a spoof.”

6 January 2014

"Boris won't be our Nemesis!" vows TMB chairman

Sir Norman Wrassle
Tripe Marketing Board chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, has pledged to muster the support of tripe lovers all over Britain to take on London Mayor Boris Johnson, describing him as "the most prolific abuser of our fine product I have ever known."

Departing from his prepared speech, Sir Norman used his platform at the Longridge Women's Institute AGM tonight to launch an attack on what he termed "prolonged and sustained tripeism" from Mr Johnson.

Sir Norman said: "I was made aware of the Mayor's comments in an article in today's Daily Telegraph and I immediately asked our media monitoring unit to look into Mr Johnson's track record with tripe.  The report I received this evening shows a pattern of serial misuse of the word tripe over a number of years."

In 2008, Mr Johnson responded to a question about police commissioners from respected reporter Jon Sopel on The Politics Show with: "No, codswallop, tripe, balderdash, absolute codswallop," and just two years ago claimed that "people believe a load of tripe about 9/11".

Mr Johnson, who appears on Twitter using the name @MayorofLondon, will be appearing on LBC Radio tomorrow morning and can be quizzed via Twitter using the hashtag #AskBoris.  Sir Norman predicted tripe lovers all over the capital and beyond would be asking their grandchildren to tweet questions for Boris.   Sir Norman said: "Enough is enough. Mr Johnson must apologise for his comments forthwith. I am calling on tripe lovers from all over the country to lobby him to publicly take the Tripe Taste Challenge. The future of our industry could be at stake."

TMB Challenges Boris Johnson To Withdraw Tripe Slur

The Tripe Marketing Board has challenged Mayor of London Boris Johnson to withdraw a comment he made in today’s Daily Telegraph in which he wrote that a piece by Tristram Hunt MP in the Observer ‘deserves a Nobel Prize for Tripe’.
Boris Johnson Mayor of London

Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt are embroiled in a war of words about who started World War 1.

Speaking from his Lytham home where he is relaxing after twisting his ankle on a skiing holiday, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:

“We are not taking sides here. The Tripe Marketing Board is a strictly apolitical organisation nor do we care who started World War I. We are hard working marketing people who are trying to make a living in adverse economic conditions.

“At a stroke, Mr Johnson has dealt a body blow to the tripe industry from which I fear it may never recover. Mr Andrew Percy MP committed a similar faux pas last year and sportingly agreed to take the Tripe Taste Challenge. 

"I am calling on Mr Johnson to do the decent thing and issue a full apology immediately and to take the Tripe Taste Challenge as a sign of his contrition at a tripe retailers of his choice. If he doesn't, I fear his chances of winning the next mayoral election may be irreparably damaged.”