31 July 2015

TMB Announcement

A delegation from the Tripe Marketing Board today embarks on a visit to Skiathos as part of a fact-finding mission designed to ensure that the British tripe industry is well-equipped to capitalise on the continued austerity in the months and years ahead.

As most of the communications team will be part of this mission, we regret that Tripe Industry News will only be updated infrequently over the next week or so.  Retailers and customers seeking the latest tripe developments can find these here.

Head of Product Development at the Greek Tripe Board, Mr Christos Chrysoula, said: "A warm welcome awaits our British friends as they  prepare to journey to the beautiful island of Skiathos.  Here, I can promise them plenty of sun, ouzo and the occasional trip to an abattoir."

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle, speaking from his Lytham home prior to departure, said: "We are more determined than ever to collect as many facts as possible about tripe in Greece.  It can only be good for the future development of the British tripe industry".

Sir Norman said that he would also make every effort to visit the neighbouring island of Skopelos, if his schedule allowed it, and he promised a full report would be tabled at the next appropriate board meeting.

The TMB's Twitter account, @TripeUK, has been temporarily re-branded as TripeGoesToSkiathos  with the full approval of OffOffal, the industry regulator.

27 July 2015

TMB rejects calls for investigation into tripe supporters

The TMB has dismissed calls from a former board member for an investigation into how thousands of non-tripe eaters had been allowed to sign up to support tripe in the social media.   
Sir Norman Wrassle
The accusation was made by former Director of Culture, Media & Tripe, Sandy Burlap during an interview today on the popular Radio Lancashire drive-time show, Gassing with Gaz.  Mr Burlap told presenter Gary Bradlow that he believed many hundreds of vegetarians had taken advantage of Twitter and Facebook to 'infiltrate' the TMB, in what he termed "a blatant attempt to influence the future direction of the board".

Official figures released by the TMB earlier this year suggested that over 25% of its social media support came from non-meat eaters. 

Speaking from his Lytham home tonight, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle rejected the claim. "We have long been aware that a number of vegetarians and, perhaps, even the odd vegan, are 'following' tripe.  Some of them have gone so far as to buy tripe badges and fridge magnets or one or two of our books".   Sir Norman said he took a relaxed approach to such supporters.  "Nobody is pretending for a minute that we will persuade these folk to eat tripe.  We've got enough of a job with the carnivores," he said.

He went on to dismiss Mr Burlap's call for an investigation into the matter.  "We're a broad church here at the TMB. Tripe's not just for meat-eaters - although obviously, they are our main target," he said.

26 July 2015

TMB clarifies pro-Corbyn tweet

The Tripe Marketing Board has apologised to tripe retailers after an intern working on its Twitter feed committed the TMB to making a donation to the campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party earlier today.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This was an unauthorised tweet. The Tripe Marketing Board is - and must remain - strictly apolitical.  We have suspended the individual concerned, but our legal department has advised us that we must honour the pledge.  However distasteful I personally find the idea of Labour electing an anti-austerity leader, we will be obliged to donate £100 to Mr Corbyn's campaign if we do indeed reach 9,000 followers before 7pm on 26 July."

The apology came after a Tweet was issued at 5.45pm today saying

Sir Norman said he took some comfort from the fact that it was "extremely unlikely" that this would happen, although he noted that the odds of Mr Corbyn becoming Labour leader had dropped substantially since the 100/1 quoted some weeks ago.  "I wish we had had a piece of that," he said.

18 July 2015

TMB chairman apologises for "possible offence"

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised for any unintended offence he may have caused to radio presenters, following comments he made during an interview broadcast on Radio KCRW's Good Food show this morning.

Radio KCRW
Speaking at a media conference in Southport earlier today, Sir Norman said: "I understand that some people may have been offended by one or two of the statements that I made when I was interviewed by Evan Kleiman for her Good Food show.  I am happy to apologise for any possible offence that I may have caused".

Sir Norman confirmed that the TMB's communications department had received "at least two, and possibly three" complaints from anonymous radio presenters unhappy that they had been compared to tripe. 

"What I actually said was that looks aren't everything and that it's personality that counts.  I merely used radio presenters as an example.  I could equally have used call centre workers - my point would still have been the same," he said.   Sir Norman went on to say "I am happy to confirm that there are some very attractive radio presenters out there, all of whom are very lovely, in their own way".  He pointed in particular to Susan Rae, Malcolm Boyden and Graham Swindlehurst, all from the BBC.

Sir Norman's interview can be heard via this link, and commences at 9 minutes 40 seconds.

TMB chairman's Skiathos visit will go ahead

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has defended his decision to go ahead with his two week fact-finding tour of Skiathos early next month.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a media conference in Southport earlier today, Sir Norman said it was important not to let recent events in Greece cast a shadow over his trip.  "This visit was planned many months ago - one of a number of fact-finding missions I am obliged to undertake as an ambassador for British tripe.  I'm not going to be bullied into cancelling it just because the editor of Offal Monthly thinks it's a waste of the TMB's funds," he said.

Sir Norman was responding to comments made during a debate on Lancashire Radio's Friday Night Argument show, in which the wisdom of the visit going ahead was called into question.  He said it was important that the TMB learned how economic conditions in Greece were impacting on tripe sales there. "We've long said that tripe is the perfect austerity foodstuff.  Now that the Greek government has passed the EU's programme of budget cuts, it's crucial that we learn the lessons.  What happens in Athens today could very well happen in Blackburn tomorrow," he said, going on to predict that sales of tripe were likely to improve as a result.

Sir Norman promised to return with as many facts as he could reasonably assemble during his fortnight on the island, and to make a full report to the board in September.  "This isn't just about sitting round on a beach sipping cocktails, I can assure you," he said.

14 July 2015

TMB denies price cut is due to disappointing sales

The Tripe Marketing Board has denied reducing the price of one of its flagship books because sales to date have been disappointing.

Spatchcock - price cut
The allegation - made in an article by noted vegetarian critic RAC Gill in the July 2015 issue of Offal Monthly - was strenuously denied by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle, earlier today.

Speaking at a lunchtime meeting of the Westhaughton Ladies League, Sir Norman said that the decision to reduce the selling price of The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock from £9.99 to just £5.99 on Amazon was a tactical decision by the board's publishing division, TMB Books and was intended to honour the 50th anniversary of Wigan Casino Royale, a seminal work by the Oldham-based film studio.

"The price reduction is our gift to tripe lovers all over the world. It's ridiculous to suggest it's because people aren't buying the book at the full price.  If that were the case, we'd have to reduce the price of all of our books," he said. 

Sir Norman confirmed that the price reduction was 'time limited'. "Think of it as the TMB's contribution to deflation. Even tripe has to do its bit," he said. 

Personal Tripe Accounts could be the way forward for the tripe industry

The Tripe Marketing Board is examining proposals that could oblige people to pay into flexible saving accounts to fund future purchases of tripe, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle confirmed today.

The idea was first floated by industry analysts Ewan, Duncombe & Smythe, who said they were “very keen” to have a debate about encouraging people to use personal accounts to save for future tripe purchases.

“We need to support the kind of products that allow people through their lives to dip in and out when they need the money to buy tripe,” Sir Norman told the Chorley Telegraph.

“We need to encourage people to save from day one but they need to know that they can get some of the money out when their circumstances change. This is not TMB policy but we are very keen to look at it, as a long-term way forward for the 21st century,” he said.

12 July 2015

2nd Quarter 2015 tripe sales "encouraging" says TMB chairman

Sales of tripe in the period April - June 2015 were "better than anticipated," Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle told an audience of industry analysts meeting in Chorley this weekend.

Although sales had fallen for the 231st successive quarter, there are increasing signs that the public is embracing tripe in greater numbers.  "There's definitely a sense in which the number of people buying tripe is beginning to make a serious impact on the historic decline in our customer base," Sir Norman said.  He predicted that it wouldn't be many months before the corner was turned. "It could even be a matter of weeks," he said.

The per capita decline in sales represents just 0.0008 kg in the three months from 1 April - by far the best results since rationing was abolished in 1954.  Sir Norman attributed the figures to increasing unease amongst consumers about the impact of government austerity measures, the recent launch of tirimasu and a decision by TMB Books to launch a 'serious' imprint, LEB Books. Sir Norman went on to say "LEB Books is our secret weapon in the battle to promote tripe.  By enticing people to read serious books, we think there's a good chance they'll move on to read our tripe books".

LEB Books' new publication
LEB Books' first publication
LEB Books has published two titles: It's Always the Children by Gillian Large and, more recently,   Tales from the Hills by Bill Cawley.  "Let's face it, not everyone likes a laugh when they read books," Sir Norman

7 July 2015

TMB chairman says "stick with austerity" in eve of budget speech

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has called on Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to "stick with austerity," in an eve of budget address to the West Lancashire Women's League, earlier today.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at the meeting in Lytham St Annes, Sir Norman said: "This budget is the perfect opportunity for Mr Osborne to implement a programme of swingeing cuts to welfare spending. I have no doubt that, if he heeds my advice, it can only be good for tripe."

Sir Norman referred to research which showed that sales of tripe increased whenever people's disposable income was reduced.  "Mr Osborne might even want to think about making tripe consumption compulsory.  If everyone in the country was forced to eat just 60 grammes of tripe per day, it could rejuvenate the tripe industry overnight," he said.

In response to questions, Sir Norman said he was inspired by events in Greece, where banking controls had restricted individual account holders to withdrawals of just €60 per day.  "That sort of money doesn't buy much these days, but it certainly buys a lot of tripe," he said.

5 July 2015

Tirimasu set to revive tripe sales

Tripe sales are expected to rise significantly following the launch of a new 'cross-over' product, Tirimasu, earlier today.

The sweet / savoury dish combines cooked tripe, onions, toasted croutons and a liberal dusting of cocoa powder to create a taste sensation.

Speaking at a lunchtime product launch in Preston, Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle admitted that the new product would not appeal to everyone, but he forecast strong interest amongst the target market of 50-75 year olds - dubbed 'Generation Tripe' or 'Gen T' in the media.

Sir Norman said that the product name had been chosen after extensive research which showed that Tirimasu was a popular and attractive name that appealed in particular to people who couldn't type or were simply poor at spelling.  "Tirimasu will be available across the country from tomorrow and will help stimulate tripe sales in the run up to World Tripe Day on 24 October," Sir Norman said.

1 July 2015

TMB Denies Subliminal Marketing

The Tripe Marketing Board today denied suggestions that it bribed health officials to place subliminal messages promoting tripe in public health information films issued by the UK NHS.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle described the accusation, made in the July issue of Offal Monthly, as "ludicrous".

Speaking at a media conference in Chorley earlier today, Sir Norman said: "Why anyone would imagine we would want to hide messages about tripe -  a foodstuff we are proud of - in this way, I don't know.  It's just preposterous".

The editorial in Offal Monthly highlighted three specific videos that had been uploaded on YouTube, the popular media sharing website, each supposedly attempting to influence people to buy tripe.  Particular attention was drawn to this video, which purported to show a consultation between a GP and patient in which tripe is clearly promoted. 
Sir Norman said that the video in question was an old health promotion film from the 1950s, when it was common to see posters promoting tripe in GP surgeries. "I suspect this is just sour grapes from the pork people," he said.