31 March 2015

New minor celebrity endorses tripe

Tripe has been endorsed by US TV star Anna Chlumsky in an interview published by Yahoo Food yesterday.

In response to a question "Do you like tripe?" Ms Chlumsky replied "I do, very much".

Commenting on the endorsement, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said:  "This just goes to show that tripe appeals as much to busy, young American TV stars as it does to pensioners and unemployed people in the north of England.  I hope tripe retailers will use this endorsement to reposition our product in people's minds".

Shock early lead in Tripe "poll"

Tripe for the Over 65s has taken a surprise early lead in sales of new tripe badges from the Tripe Marketing Board.

Commenting on the results, TMB chairman said last night: "This is a bit of a surprise, as I knew we had made inroads amongst younger consumers, but I never expected we would hit our key 65 - 75 demographic quite so early in the campaign".

Sir Norman said the badges - which are available to purchase from selected tripe retailers or direct from the Tripe Marketing Board - were just a "bit of fun".  As a non-governmental organisation, the TMB has to remain strictly politically neutral.  "Until one of our interns pointed it out, we hadn’t even realised that our new badges reflected the colours of the main political parties," he said.

25 March 2015

Zero inflation threatens tripe sales in months ahead

The Tripe Marketing Board has acknowledged that some potential consumers may be delaying their first purchase of tripe as the official UK inflation rate reached 0% yesterday.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "People might well be putting off buying tripe in the expectation that prices will be falling.  Our message is that there's never been a better time to buy tripe.  There's absolutely no need for deferred gratification where tripe is concerned.  It will taste as good today as it will next month".

Sir Norman acknowledged that a recent cut in the price of the TMB's 2015 Diary, which now retails at just £3.99, might have fed through into the inflation figures. "When I last looked, the diary was ranked at No 77 in the Amazon Parody Humour chart, which does tend to suggest it is still selling reasonably well," he said.

A proportion of income from sales of the diary is pledged to the UK MS Society, and £240 has already been donated.  

24 March 2015

TMB chairman has "no plans" to stand down in next five years

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has denied that he has any immediate plans to stand down from the role, following speculation that plans were in hand to arrange for a successor. 

Speaking at a meeting of the East Bolton Ladies' Circle this afternoon, Sir Norman dismissed the rumour as "entirely fabricated", saying: "When I was appointed in 1997, I set myself the task of restoring the fortunes of the tripe industry.  Although we are close to achieving that aim, it would be premature to claim victory just yet".

In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman also said he had no plans to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming elections.  "It's true that I have been approached by a number of constituencies with a view to standing, but it's not something to which I've given much thought.  My aim in the run-up to May will be to ensure that tripe is raised at the hustings, and I will be asking tripe lovers all over the country to keep a keen eye on what their local candidates have to say on the subject," he said.

Sir Norman confirmed that he had accepted an invitation from the Combined Meat Processors Association of Fuerteventura to take part in a fact-finding mission to the island in April.  "As ever, I will be on the lookout for as many facts as possible," he said.

19 March 2015

TMB Annual Report 2014 most popular annual report on Kindle

The Tripe Marketing Board's 2014 Annual Report & Accounts today reached the number one spot on the Amazon Kindle free parody chart - the first time any meat-based marketing board annual report has claimed the spot since Kindles were launched in 2007.

The TMB Annual Report
Celebrating the news this afternoon, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This is tremendous news for tripe.  It shows that the appetite for our product is both undaunted and growing - especially when it's free".

Sir Norman said he was unable to explain why the annual report had been categorised as a 'parody'.  "I'm not sure what Amazon think it's supposed to be a parody of, but it's still nice to be number one," he said.

The annual report and accounts remains free on Kindle until tomorrow.  

18 March 2015

TMB "cautiously pessimistic" after Budget 2015

The Tripe Marketing Board has welcomed the absence of a tax on tripe in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2015 Budget.

Commenting on the budget, TMB chsirman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We are pleased that Mr Osborne has chosen to ignore those who have been calling for the tax.  However, we note that the government plans to end its austerity programme by 2020.  We are cautiously pessimistic about the prospects for tripe after this time, as we have always regarded tripe to be the perfect austerity foodstuff". 

17 March 2015

ONS overlooks tripe for 53rd year in a row

The Office for National Statistics has once again failed to include tripe in its annual revision of the typical British shopping basket - despite mounting evidence that more and more people are buying tripe.

The ONS uses the basket of goods to measure the UK's inflation rate.  Despite strong lobbying from the Tripe Marketing Board, the 13 new items added this year do not include tripe.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was "disappointed" at today's announcement. "We had high hopes that tripe had sneaked into the nation's shopping baskets in 2014.  I can only assume that the 20,000 shops sampled by the ONS are mainly outside of Lancashire and Yorkshire," he said.

Items in the basket may be introduced or dropped to reflect changes in how much people are spending on them, and also to reflect new categories of spending.  One addition this year has been the the cost of protein powders for gym-goers, measured to reflect the wider group of sports food supplements.  The ONS believe this is "a distinct and growing sector not previously covered".

Commenting on the inclusion of protein powders, Sir Norman said: "Tripe is a significant source of protein - a 3oz serving of cooked tripe provides 10 grams of protein, a source of amino acids your body needs to make hormones, enzymes and new tissue. That's got to be better than snorting powders".

16 March 2015

Tripe rules out alliance with Spleen, Heart, Lung and Pizzle

The Tripe Marketing Board has ruled out any future merger with other offal marketing agencies, following speculation in the media of a possible joint concordat to promote offal-based products.

Speaking at a meeting of the Westhaughton Ladies' Circle this afternoon, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle dismissed the suggestions as "unthinkable".  He said reports in Wigan on Sunday that the TMB was in talks with EuroIntestine were "wholly premature", and described the UK Heart Council and British Spleen as "the darker side of offal".

"We've worked hard to persuade people to try tripe by embracing the social media like no other meat-based marketing board.  These Johnny-come-latelies, with their flashy websites and offers of car stickers and free holidays in Italy aren't quite our style," he said.

TMB chairman admits second job

The Tripe Marketing Board has confirmed that its chairman Sir Norman Wrassle did continue to pursue his business interests for a short time after he became chairman in 1997.

Sir Norman Wrassle
There are no rules banning TMB members from having other sources of employment, but they do have to declare any other paid employment under the OffOffal Code of Conduct.

The confirmation comes after the Wigan on Sunday newspaper had discovered what it says is a recording of a sales pitch for Wrassle Glass, a double glazing company, made in the summer of 1998 - a year after he was appointed.

Speaking at a hastily convened media conference late last night, Sir Norman said: "Like many other businessmen, I have had fingers in a number of pies.  I was always completely transparent about my involvement in my brother's double glazing company".

Sir Norman said he had also, for a brief period, worked as a consultant to Blunt Fine Foods, where he advised the company on the production of tripe pies.  "It's an old story, and really just a matter of semantics.  I enjoyed my work with them so much that I never really considered it a job," he said. 

12 March 2015

TMB withdraws from sponsorship deal

The Tripe Marketing Board has withdrawn its sponsorship of the popular Lancashire TV programme Top Tripe, following damaging media publicity after its presenter was involved in a scuffle with one of the show's producers.

Controversial presenter Julian Clambake reportedly complained after he returned to his hotel after a hectic day of filming in Burnley to find that the only meal available was a plate of cold boiled tripe and onions.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this afternoon, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said he was "disappointed" to read the reports.  He said the incident meant there was no possibility of continuing the sponsorship deal.  "Mr Clambake's actions are beyond the pale.  They come on top of his anti-Yorkshire comments last year, and we are regretfully terminating the contract."

The Tripe Marketing Board on BBC TV's Eggheads show
Top Tripe was part of the TMB's strategy to make tripe appealing to the younger male consumer, and involved Clambake driving high-performance cars across the Forest of Bowland, stopping off at pubs and restaurants en route to sample tripe-based dishes.

Sir Norman went on to say: "We would like to assure tripe consumers that we do not endorse Mr Clambake's actions.  His altercation is doubly unfortunate, as it has rather overshadowed yesterday's attempt by the Tripe Marketing Board to challenge the supremacy of our old adversaries at the Egg Marketing Board".

10 March 2015

TMB celebrates European award

The Tripe Marketing Board was today celebrating the announcement that it had scooped the coveted first prize in the European 'Golden Date' Awards for its 2015 Diary.

The Golden Date
The award was announced at a prestigious ceremony during the European Diary Manufacturer's Convention in Cannes earlier this afternoon, where the TMB Diary pipped the hotly-tipped Deutsch Verein zur Förderung von Kalbsbries to collect first place.

Speaking shortly afterwards, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "It was a personal pleasure to collect the Date d'Or on behalf of all those who work ceaselessly to promote tripe - it gives the lie to those who have claimed that our diary is little more than a thinly-veiled catalogue for our tripe books.  It's that - and more!"

Sir Norman said that the TMB would be marking the award by reducing the price of its 2015 Diary to just £3.99.  "The diary has a 'use by' date of 31 December 2015, so there's still plenty of life in it yet," he said.

TMB denies incompetence over tax activities

The Tripe Marketing Board has issued a strong rebuttal following accusations that it has evaded taxes by maintaining a number of offshore bank accounts.

Sir Norman Wrassle
The comments were made by the chairman of the East Lancashire Borough Council's Scrutiny Committee Maureen Hodgekinson, during yesterday's debate on the offal industry.  TMB board members were accused of incompetence for saying they were unaware of tax evasion activities in their Isle of Man private bank.

Basil Chambers, director of finance at the TMB, said he didn't know what staff "were up to".
Cllr Hodgekinson responded by saying "Either you're completely incompetent in your oversight duties or you knew about it."

Cllr Hodgekinson also called for TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle to quit the board. "I think the government should sack you," she said.

Sir Norman responded by pointing out that the TMB was an independent organisation and that the government had no responsibility for appointments to the board.  He went on to deny that the TMB had deliberately attempted to avoid paying taxes and said that the issue of the Isle of Man bank accounts was "a Manx herring".  "As the TMB has never made a profit for the last 60 years,  the issue of tax evasion is purely academic," he said.

5 March 2015

TMB unveils Tripe Manifesto

The Tripe Marketing Board today launched its 2015 Tripe Manifesto, designed to raise the profile of tripe ahead of the UK General Election on 7 May.

The key messages in the manifesto, which the TMB will be asking all the main political parties to endorse, include:
  •     Free tripe for the over 85s
  •     Tripe to be made a compulsory ingredient in 20% of school meals from 2017
  •     A commitment to no tripe tax until at least 2020
The full manifesto will be made available to tripe retailers later this month.

Speaking at the launch event in Preston this afternoon, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "Although we would not presume to advise tripe consumers how they should cast their vote, we hope they will raise these issues with their local candidates". 

Sir Norman went on to say how excited he was by the TMB's plans for a poster campaign in the run up to 7 May.

"We've got some cracking advertisements lined up, all designed to make people think about tripe before they vote.  And to get get them to buy it, of course!" he said.  

Tripe lovers will be asked to seek support for the manifesto from their local parliamentary candidates.  "We're simply saying that before they cast their vote, tripe lovers should assure themselves that any 'wannabe' MPs understand the crucial issues at stake," Sir Norman said.

2 March 2015

TMB denies bribing broadcasters

The Tripe Marketing Board has denied making payments to a number of UK broadcasters in an attempt to promote tripe.

Sir Norman Wrassle
The claims were made in an editorial in the March 2015 issue of Offal Monthly, which suggested that sums as high as £500 had been paid to a variety of TV production companies to encourage them to feature tripe.

Speaking at a media conference earlier today, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle accused the industry journal of misrepresenting  the TMB's position.  "These allegations are, quite frankly, absurd. Whilst it's true that we have on occasion made what might be described as token payments to certain key individuals, these were actually to dissuade them from featuring tripe," he said. 

Sir Norman said this wasn't the first time that Offal Monthly had got its facts wrong.  "This isn't the journal it used to be.  I can only assume that cuts in their editorial staff are leading to more and more factual errors," he said, adding that people in the industry no longer trusted it to be an impartial reporter of offal trends.

He went on to describe how the TMB's strategy of limiting the TV exposure of tripe was already beginning to pay dividends, saying  "We've learned the hard way that tripe isn't the most televisual of foodstuffs and have instead concentrated our efforts on radio, where we can more easily pique people's interest".