30 November 2014

TMB Books launches TripeCat 2014 contest

TMB Books, the publishing arm of the Tripe Marketing Board, has launched a contest to find the internet's favourite Tripe Cat.

The contest - via the social media platform Twitter - launches at 11am on Sunday 30 November 2014 and closes shortly afterwards at 1pm.  Head of publishing at TMB Books, Doreen Gray said: "We're disappointed that Twitter would only allocate us 2 hours for this contest, but we understand their concern that there is already a surfeit of cat pictures on Twitter.  Nevertheless, we hope it will prove popular with cat lovers and tripe lovers across the world".

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "After the success of our Tripe Dog 2014 contest, which was won by the Northamptonshire dachshund @WillyPongoColes, we had a number of requests from Twitter followers to run a similar contest for cats.  Everyone knows that dogs love tripe - and more and more humans are learning to love it, too.  But this new initiative could open up a whole new market for tripe".

The contest is being run via the newly-launched @TMB_Books Twitter account.  Sir Norman explained the rationale behind the launch by saying: "We know that many of the people who read our books do not necessarily yet like tripe.  Our new Twitter account will allow us to reach out to the key consumer demographic of book-loving 'tripe-curious' people".

28 November 2014

TMB appoints new board member

The Tripe Marketing Board yesterday confirmed the appointment of Mrs Denise Tomlinson as the latest member of its board.

Mrs Denise Tomlinson
Mrs Tomlinson, 38, will hold the portfolio for London and the South pending further board appointments.

Announcing the news last night, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Mrs Tomlinson proved her mettle in October, when she took a step that we hope many more people will take by trying tripe. I am delighted to welcome Denise aboard at a time when the TMB is starting to pique people's interest".

The appointment brings to three the number of women on the board, which Sir Norman said proved the TMB's firm commitment to equal opportunities.  "I'd like to think we are taking the lead amongst meat-based marketing boards and it would be fantastic if our colleagues at British Spleen and UK Brawn followed in our footsteps," he said.

Mrs Tomlinson's introduction to tripe features in the TMB's 2015 Diary, which Sir Norman said was selling better than he had dared hope. "Last year, we donated £200 to the Snowdon Trust charity from sales of our 2014 Diary.  I'm hopeful we will be able to more than match that if more people purchase a copy of our 2015 edition," he said. 

20% of profits from this year's diary are pledged to the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society. He underlined his 'money-back' pledge if people didn't think it was the funniest meat-based marketing board diary in the world.*

* offer excludes the Deutsch Verein zur Förderung von Kalbsbries Tagebuch 2015.

27 November 2014

It's Official! The Greatest Lancastrian 2014 is...

It's Lancashire Day - the day when Lancastrians all over the world traditionally celebrate their shared heritage and love of tripe!  Retailers all over the county have reported brisk sales as people stocked up on tripe in the run-up to today.

It's also the day when the poll to find the Greatest Lancastrian came to its conclusion. An unexpectedly large field of candidates submitted via the TMB's Twitter account, @TripeUK led to frenzied voting before the poll closed.  Over 400 people cast their vote in what has rapidly become the internet's largest meat-based poll to find the year's greatest Lancastrian.

Announcing the results at an award ceremony in Chorley earlier this evening, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "The Tripe Marketing Board's publishing division, TMB Books, is proud to once again sponsor this glittering event. This year, it has been much more fiercely contested, with four categories to reflect the breadth and depth of talent within our county".

The winners were as follows:

Greatest Cricketer:                             Mr David 'Bumble' Lloyd      (67% of category votes cast)
Greatest Comedian:                            Mr Eric Morecambe             (52% of votes cast)
Greatest Historical Lancastrian:          Mr Tom Finney                    (38% of votes cast)
Greatest Living Lancastrian:                Dr CP Lee                           (42% of votes cast)

None of the winners were able to be present for the ceremony, either because they were currently in Sri Lanka, deceased or (in the case of Dr Lee) having new carpets fitted.

In declaring Mr Lloyd the overall winner, Sir Norman told a packed gathering "All of these individuals can be proud of the contribution they have made - or are making - to promoting Lancashire in the wider world".

This is the first time a Greatest Lancastrian has retained the title.

"I'd like to personally congratulate Mr Lloyd for the work he has done to put our county - and tripe - on the map and butchers' slabs of Britain," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman himself polled a creditable 3% in the Greatest Living category and 2% in the Greatest Cricketer category.  "To be honest, I was surprised to even be nominated. It's a good base to start on for future years, though," he said, adding "It's many years since I stood at the crease".

TMB chairman pleads for calm on Lancashire Day

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night appealed for "calm and common sense" among Lancastrians, following calls by Lytham councillor Nigel Farnworth for an independent Lancashire.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Leyland Womens' Guild, Sir Norman said: "Every year for as long as I can remember, Cllr Farnworth has used his traditional 'Eve of Lancashire Day' speech to demand independence for Lancashire.  Here at the Tripe Marketing Board, we'll be celebrating all that's good about Lancashire - and for us that means a county that's forward-looking, dynamic and welcoming of  people of all backgrounds and ages.  Tripe is a Lancashire foodstuff that has conquered the world.  Only last week I was talking to the people of Hereford about it.  We have no time at all for the likes of Nigel Farnworth and his small-minded prejudices."

Sir Norman said he hoped people would stay calm and carry on buying tripe - wherever they lived. "Common sense tells us that we can't develop the tripe industry simply by relying on our core consumers.  We must reach out and embrace people of all cultures and persuasions - even those in Yorkshire".

In response to a question from the audience, Sir Norman said he would be spending Lancashire Day as he always did: "I'll be putting on a CD of that fine Bolton folk singer Woodly Gutteridge singing 'This Lancs was made for thee and me', tucking into a nice bowl of tripe and onions washed down by some Thwaites beer and following it up by a delicious Chorley cake!" he said. 

26 November 2014

Tripe Christmas

The Tripe Marketing Board yesterday unveiled its Christmas TV advertising campaign, which will air on carefully selected cable channels in towns across the north west in the run-up to the festive season.

Speaking at the launch event in Preston, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This year, we've gone for something a little edgier than our usual fare.  Nonetheless, I hope it will give John Lewis and Sainsbury's a run for their money".

The ad (Tripe Christmas) features a re-working of a classic Christmas song refreshed and performed by the Liverpool Socialist Singers.  Nigel Peggotty, co-director of the creative agency Bootle Boggle Peggotty who created the advert, said: "Our focus groups showed that people are getting fed up with the usual tripe they get at Christmas, so it was important we found a fresh way to promote the product".

Sir Norman denied suggestions from a reporter from Offal Monthly that Michael Buble had turned down approaches from the TMB to appear in the ad. "While it's true Mr Buble did feature on our initial shortlist, we never actually got as far as talking to his agent," he said.

25 November 2014

TMB chairman challenges Amazon over classification

The Tripe Marketing Board has complained to internet retailer Amazon, after its 2015 Diary has been categorised as 'Humour: Parody' in its sales ranking charts.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Ideally, our Diary should classified under a 'Meat: Offal: Almanac' category, but it appears that no such category exists.  It's not at all clear to me how we will ever get a best-seller under these circumstances".

Head of publishing at TMB Books, Doreen Gray, said: "It's not all bad news.  Our recently published Tales from the Till is doing very well in the 'Retail' category and quite respectably in the 'Business: Humour' charts, but until Amazon relent and introduce more meat-based categories, our Diary is always going to struggle to break through".

TMB denies 'stupid, sweaty little git' jibe

The Tripe Marketing Board has hit back at radical vegans who have accused it of using the newly-published TMB 2015 Diary as a 'thinly disguised attempt to persuade vegans to eat tripe'.

Vegan Monthly, November 2014 (Pic R Lupton)
The accusations were made in the December 2014 edition of Vegan Monthly, who had been invited to attend the launch party for the 2015 Diary last Friday, in what TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said was intended to be a friendly gesture designed to re-assure vegans that tripe came in peace.

Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference in Preston last night, Sir Norman said: "I can't pretend I'm not disappointed by the way they've chosen to cover the launch.  It's no secret that we have a lot of vegetarian followers on Twitter, and in fact we're the only meat-based marketing board in Europe with a vegan board member".

Sir Norman, who was unable to attend the launch event at Liverpool's Hot Water Comedy Club himself due to a prior engagement in Blackpool, said he hoped the coverage would not put vegans off buying the 2015 Diary.  He dismissed claims that the TMB's finance officer Mr Basil Chambers had called the photographer 'a stupid, sweaty little git'.  "That isn't the kind of language Mr Chambers normally uses and unless someone unearths a tape or something I am happy to deny he ever said such a thing," he said.

24 November 2014

Greatest Lancastrian

As we approach Lancashire Day on Thursday 27 November, it's the question that's on everyone's lips - who is the Greatest Lancastrian in 2014?

In previous years, the 'Rochdale Cowboy' Mike Harding and cricketing legend and Sky Sports TV presenter David 'Bumble' Lloyd have both lifted the trophy in the keenly-contested competition.  But who gets your vote?

Tripe lovers can vote now via this link.  For the third year running, the contest is sponsored by TMB Books. Launching the competition earlier today, Tripe Marketing Board chairman said: "It's never easy choosing the best of the crop.  How can you judge between Cilla Black and Emmeline Pankhurst?  I know I couldn't. Thankfully, I don't have to.  We'll leave it to the great Lancashire public to decide!"

Sir Norman dismissed suggestions that his own inclusion in the shortlist was unmerited. "I don't expect to win, but I've done my bit for tripe this year, so I'm not in the least embarrassed to make the cut," he said.

19 November 2014

TMB pledges no fines for people who complain about tripe

The Tripe Marketing Board has undertaken never to fine people who leave bad reviews about its books.

TMB Books' first publication
Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he thought it would be counter-productive to issue fines to people who left negative reviews on Amazon of books published by TMB Books, the publishing arm of the TMB.  Speaking from his Lytham home this afternoon, he said: "We know that tripe is a very divisive foodstuff.  People either loathe it or hate it.  For example, Mr SG Holt of Radcliffe left a review of our first book, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral.  He said 'No, not for me. Got it from Amazon today. did'nt take long to go through it, I'm a Lancastrian & I just could'nt get into this at all. 106 pages of tripe'.  He only gave it one star - unlike the 24 people who gave it five stars."

Sir Norman said that the TMB had to take such negative comments 'on the chin'.  "We'd much rather pay people to leave good reviews.  That way, everyone's happy," he said.

New Face at the TMB

Katrina Murphy
The Tripe Marketing Board has announced the appointment of its latest board member, Katrina Murphy.  

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This appointment gives the lie to those who claim the TMB is too male dominated and too heavily focused on promoting tripe in the northern hemisphere.  We know that tripe is very much appreciated in Australia  - in fact, one of the world's biggest producers of tripe in the media has its roots there".   

Katrina consults to employer and professional association clients about industrial relations matters, workplace investigations and Human Resources. "I'm particularly interested in testing the effectiveness of serving hot tripe at enterprise bargaining meetings instead of the usual chocolate biscuits and Minties," she said.

Sir Norman said he was actively considering appointing more women to the board, particularly from areas that are tradtionally under-represented such as London, Wales and the Home Counties.  He said: "The TMB is the most progresssive meat-based marketing board in the world.  I could easily forsee a woman chairman sometime within the next 20 years."

He went on to add: "The publication of our 2015 Diary has certainly piqued people's interest in tripe and I am anticipating more board applications from women. I'm determined to see that tripe smashes the glass ceiling - though perhaps not in St Helens".

17 November 2014

TMB chairman advises boycott of Offal Monthly

The Tripe Marketing Board has hit back at the editors of Offal Monthly, the trade journal for offal producers, after the magazine dismissed the TMB's issuing of its Annual Report & Accounts on Kindle as 'gimmicky' in today's issue.

TRIPE magazine
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "If it's a gimmick to seek to widen the appeal of tripe by making our Annual Report available to the wider general public, then we plead 'guilty as charged'.  Quite frankly, I've had enough of Offal Monthly's carping and endless snide remarks about tripe. We get better press with the vegetarians than we do with our own trade journal."

Sir Norman said he would be advising tripe lovers to boycott the magazine, which over recent months had featured glowing reports on spleen, heart and lung, but not one positive feature on tripe. "If we had the funds, we would ensure a much wider circulation of our own TRIPE magazine, which at least gives a balanced view of our product," Sir Norman said.

TMB Index of Tripe Prices

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued an Index of Tripe Prices, following requests from people outside of the UK about how much they should be paying for tripe.

The ITP is based on the current cost of purchasing the Tripe Marketing Board's 2014 Annual Report & Accounts on Kindle, which was issued yesterday at a press conference by Sir Norman Wrassle, TMB chairman. "Now that they merely have to click on the link below to access our Annual Report, we hope this will make it easier for people across the world to buy tripe," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman confirmed that 20% of proceeds from the sale of the TMB's Annual Report were pledged to the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society.


 R$ 7,78
 CDN$ 3.37
 EUR 2,68
 EUR 2,68
 EUR 2,68
 ¥ 348
 EUR 2,68
 EUR 2,68

The Annual Report & Accounts of the TMB is also available in the TMB's 2015 Diary, which is available in print form.

16 November 2014

TMB publishes 2014 Annual Report & Accounts

The Tripe Marketing Board has taken the unusual step of issuing its 2014 Annual Report & Accounts on Kindle, the online publishing platform for people who don't like books.

The TMB 2014 Annual Report
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle, said: "We believe we are the first meat-based marketing board to issue our Annual Report in this way.  The results of a focus group held earlier this year suggested that readership of annual reports in the meat industry was declining.  Here at the TMB, we like to think we are one step ahead of our competitors, so we have decided to make our 2014 Annual Report available to anyone across the world via the medium of Kindle".  

Sir Norman said that, up until now, anyone looking for annual reports on Kindle had an extremely restricted choice.  "I was looking the other day, and all I could find for 2014 was the Annual Report of the World Bank, which I think most people would find rather dry.  At least now, there's an alternative available."

The TMB Annual Report and Accounts for 2014 were also available in the 2015 Tripe Marketing Board Diary, which is available in print form from Amazon or direct from TMB Books. "A lot of people tell us they don't use diaries any more because they don't have a social life, so at least if they read our Annual Report on Kindle they'll be able to keep up to date with all that's happening in the world of tripe," Sir Norman said.

Sir Norman defended the decision to charge people £1.93 for the Annual Report by pointing to the higher prices charged by competitors. "This is less than the cost of a caramel macchiato at Starbucks," he said.  He went on to assure tripe lovers that the report represented excellent value for money, and said: "We believe it will give people much more enjoyment.  What's more, we will be paying all appropriate taxes on any profits".

Addendum: The World Index of Tripe Prices is available here.  

TMB Books moves into profit

TMB Books - the publishing arm of the Tripe Marketing Board - today moved into profit for the first time since it was established over two years ago.

Basil Chambers, Chief Finance Officer
Head of publishing at TMB Books, Doreen Gray said: "This is an historic day for us.  Sometime around about 2pm this afternoon, somebody bought a copy of Tales from the Till and a 2015 Tripe Marketing Board Diary via Amazon, the online retailer.  At the same time, we received an order for the Diary direct from our website.  Those three sales together were enough to push us into profit".  Ms Gray said it had been a difficult two years of trading for TMB Books, but there were signs that people were starting to appreciate the imprint's output.

The TMB's Chief Finance Officer, Mr Basil Chambers, said he welcomed the news, but cautioned against over-optimism. "While this is obviously good news, we have to remember that most people don't read books these days.  I'd like to see the TMB diversify into other media where tripe can make a mark - perhaps a Christmas single?"

Speaking from his Lytham home, where he had interrupted a family christening, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This gives the lie to those who say tripe is 'yesterday's food'.  More and more people are looking afresh at tripe and asking themselves 'Why not?'  I'd like to thank all those 'early adopters' who have bought - and sometimes even read - our books."

Sir Norman went on to congratulate the staff who worked in TMB Books:  "There's no doubt that our strategy is starting to work. If we can persuade people to read a tripe book, it's just a small step to persuading them to try tripe. I sense we are turning the corner," he said.

15 November 2014

Initial Diary sales "not disappointing" says TMB chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has welcomed the initial reception of the TMB's 2015 Diary.

Speaking at a press conference in Preston this morning, Sir Norman said early sales had been "encouraging and certainly not disappointing".

This is only the second year the TMB has made its Diary available to the wider general public.  Last year, sales of the 2014 Diary raised £200 for the Snowdon Trust.

This year, 20% of profits from sale of the 2015 Diary are pledged to the UK MS Society.

"I'd like to thank all those who have already bought one.  Particularly the gentleman who bought ten the other day.  We believe tripe should be something to be savoured and enjoyed. With our 2015 Diary, people can have a daily reminder of the part tripe can play in a balanced diet.  It makes an unusual and quirky Christmas gift idea - imagine the delight on their faces when they unwrap it!" Sir Norman said.

As well as being a practical week-to-view diary, it also contains articles on tripe in the media, the winning Tripe Recipe of 2014 and details of our popular Tripe Dog 2014 contest.

Sir Norman went on to say: "All in all, people who read this will see that there's more to tripe and the Tripe Marketing Board than meets the eye.  It will certainly help us in our quest to make 2015 the Year of Tripe".

The Diary is available direct from TMB Books, with free postage for bulk purchase, or via internet retailer Amazon. It will be formally launched on Friday 21 November in Liverpool - the first time the TMB has ever strayed outside of Lancashire for a book launch.

11 November 2014

Tripe revival in Hertfordshire

The venerable Bill Tidy and members of CADS (Photo: © Terry Hartga, 2014)
The Tripe Marketing Board has congratulated a Hertfordshire amateur dramatic group after their successful production of The Fosdyke Saga, a true-life tale of love, intrigue and rivalry in the Lancashire tripe industry.

The Corvus Amateur Dramatic Society (based in Royston) staged the play - written by Alan Plater and based on the popular cartoon strip by tripe hero Bill Tidy - in the run-up to World Tripe Day 2014 celebrations.

Bill Tidy himself was able to meet the cast and production crew, as pictured above - Mr Tidy is so tall that he is contractually obligated to appear seated in all group photographs. 

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was delighted that the people of Royston had showed such an interest in tripe.  "People tell us that there's too much tripe on TV, so it's always encouraging when it appears on the stage instead," he said.

The performance also features in the TMB's 2015 Diary, which was published yesterday and which has already piqued the interest of tripe lovers across the globe.

10 November 2014

TMB seeks new legal advisers

The Tripe Marketing Board has terminated its contract with YGB Law for legal services, following what chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said was their "dilatory and disappointing" approach.

YGB Law had been asked by the TMB to prepare a case against TV cook and bakery contest judge, Paul Hollywood over comments he made about tripe in 2012.

Independent on Sunday, 5 August 2012
In the interview, Mr Hollywood had compared tripe to eating a condom and described it as 'truly revolting'.

After almost two years of work, YGB Law said it would be impossible for the TMB to bring a case for reputational damage, suggesting that the reputation of tripe was already so low as to make such an action untenable.

Sir Norman said the TMB would be casting its net widely in the search for new legal advisers. "We've been working hard to restore tripe's reputation and we truly believed we were at the point when legal action against Mr Hollywood would succeed," he said in a statement issued this afternoon. Sir Norman went on to say "I'm not entirely ruling out a joint action with the British Association of Flavoured Prophylactic Manufacturers, who I know also found Mr Hollywood's comments unhelpful".

Tripe Marketing Board 2015 Diary published

The Tripe Marketing Board today published its 2015 industry Diary - only the second time it has been made available to a wider public.

Speaking at a media conference in Preston this morning, chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This is a proud day for the TMB.  2015 promises to be a stand-out year for tripe, but our diary also looks back over the last 12 months, which have been pivotal ones for us".

The TMB 2015 Diary
As well as being a practical, week-to-view diary, the publication also includes the full text of Sir Norman's speech to the TMB AGM earlier this year, as well as articles on tripe and the media, our marketing strategy during the year and details about our TripeDog 2014 winner, Willy Pongo Coles.  A new tripe recipe, specially developed for the TMB by London chef Sean Lawson, is also featured.

Sir Norman apologised for the delay in the production, which was caused by technical difficulties with the 'scratch'n'sniff' sticker that TMB Books had planned to fix to the front cover.  Hundreds of copies had to be pulped after distributors refused to handle them, and the Diary is now being published without the sticker.

TMB Books have issued the following promotional video for the Diary, which is available to purchase here for just £4.99 or less.  The video has already been viewed at least a dozen times, making it the sixth most popular tripe-based video ever produced.

The TMB has pledged that at least 20% of the profits from the sales of its Diary will be donated to the UK MS Society.

6 November 2014

Europe Must 'Put Up Or Shut Up' Says TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board has challenged the European Office of Tripe Consumption to 'put up or shut up' following the receipt of a bill for £1,250 for the TMB's contribution towards its 2014 'EuroTripe' promotional campaign.

Speaking at a media conference in Chorley today, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This bill has come out of the blue.  I can't help but feel that our colleagues in Europe are taking advantage of the fact that the TMB will be shortly publishing its 2015 Diary."

In an interview with the Lytham Independent, UKIP council candidate Nigel Farnworth had said he was "disgusted" by the demand.  "For too long, we've stood by watching imports of cheap European tripe.  It's time we stood up to Brussels and told them fairly and squarely that we've got enough tripe in Britain.  We don't need any more," he said.

Sir Norman dismissed Mr Farnworth's comments as 'Little Lancashire-ism'.  He said: "We want to maintain our position as the premier meat-based marketing board in Europe, but we have to walk a bit of a tightrope with this one.  Nigel's comments aren't helpful and merely serve to distract from the real story here - that our 2015 Diary will be out any day soon."

4 November 2014

New face at the TMB

Professor Paul Salveson
The Tripe Marketing Board yesterday appointed Professor Paul Salveson as its latest board member.

Professor Salveson has spent most of his working life with trains and in 2009 was awarded an MBE by HM The Queen 'for services to the railway industry'.

He describes himself as a 'devo-lefty' committed to home rule for the North and regards the promotion of good, wholesome Northern food as vital to a radical political agenda.  In accepting the appointment, Professor Salveson said "For too long tripe has been the subject of ridcule by London-based politicians and journalists. It's time to restore tripe to its rightful place on the dinner table of all right-thinking Northerners".

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was delighted to welcome Professor Salveson aboard. "We have often been accused of being a little 'Lancashire-centric', but this latest appointment brings the number of Yorkshire-born or resident board members to three.  Our Honorary President, Martin McEvoy, also hails from those parts.  Tripe is an equal opportunity foodstuff and it just goes to show that even people over the other side of the Pennines can play their part in promoting it".

Sir Norman said he would be announcing further appointments in the coming weeks as tripe extended its reach around the globe.  "We're not afraid to embrace change.  In fact, we even have a female vegetarian and Scottish vegan on the board. I don't think even the Egg Marketing Board went that far," he said.