30 October 2018

TMB responds to Budget 2018

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle last night welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget statement as offering "a lifeline" for the UK tripe industry.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking at a meeting of the Longridge Ladies' Circle, Sir Norman said he had initially been worried that the Conservatives might be turning their back on the austerity policies that had been so good for tripe over the last decade, when Theresa May announced at her party conference that austerity was over.

"I was pleased that Mr Hammond was much more cautious in his own pronouncement that austerity is "nearly over".  That "nearly" hides a multitude of sins - we've been "nearly" turning the corner with tripe sales for as long as I've been chairman of the TMB," Sir Norman said.

He went on to say that the tripe industry had benefited hugely from the government's commitment to austerity as the public were forced to consider buying cheaper cuts of meat, such as tripe, to help their meagre incomes go further.  "Mr Hammond's statement offers us a lifeline.  Austerity is not over yet, and we've had great success in slowing the rate of decline in tripe sales to almost zero.  There's still a chance that by the end of the year tripe sales can actually increase for the first time since 1956," he said.

Sir Norman also gave an update on World Tripe Day 2018, which saw celebrations all around the globe from Chorley to Canberra.  "This year, we were flying the flag for British tripe in Sofia and I am pleased to say there was a lot of interest in our product," he said.  Sir Norman said he would be giving a fuller report to TMB board members in due course. 

22 October 2018

Chairman apologises for World Tripe Day confusion

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has apologised to tripe lovers who may have been unable to obtain supplies of tripe today after what he termed "confused messaging" appeared on social media channels over the last few days.

Sir Norman Wrassle
Speaking prior to a dinner engagement in Manchester, Sir Norman said he understood that some stockists had already run out of supplies in the run up to World Tripe Day, following a sustained use of the hashtag #WorldTripeDay by followers of the TMB's Twitter account @TripeUK.

"I don't pretend to be an expert on these matters, but I'm told that overuse of the hashtag has led many people to believe that World Tripe Day was today, when in fact it isn't until Wednesday 24 October," Sir Norman said.  He apologised for any inconvenience caused but said he hoped that supplies would be replenished in time for people to celebrate the day in the proper manner.

Sir Norman is due to fly out to Sofia tomorrow, where he will be celebrating World Tripe Day as a guest of the Bulgarian Federation of Offal Processors, BFnOF.  This will be the 5th annual world celebration of tripe and Sir Norman said he was looking forward to seeing how the dish is prepared and served in Bulgaria. "I hope to bring back a lot of interesting recipes for people to try out," he said, but added "I also hope to introduce them to some of the traditional Lancashire ways of serving tripe, so I've packed a fair few bottles of Sarsons'."

20 October 2018

TMB targets younger generation

The Tripe Marketing Board will today unveil its latest advertising campaign aimed at what has been termed 'Generation Tripe' - younger people under the age of 65 who have yet to be persuaded of the important part tripe can play in their diet and in their lives.

The A4 posters - described by marketing guru Kelvin Stacey from the Spaatchcock and Spaatchcock agency as "deliberately provocative yet understated" - are scheduled to appear at bus stops, take away shops and selected motorway service station toilets over the next four days in what Mr Stacey described as a "promotional hyper-blitz" designed to put tripe at the forefront of younger people's minds.
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said the board had consulted widely on the campaign, using social media to gauge responses to the posters before they were launched.

Speaking ahead of today's launch, Sir Norman said "I'm told that we can't call these 'post-ironic' as hardly anyone uses the postal service these days, but we're genuinely excited to be bringing tripe to a new audience."

"With World Tripe Day just days away, we hope to enthuse a new generation of people who may never have previously thought about tripe to make it part of their lifestyle choices," he added.

Sir Norman said that the campaign could also play a pivotal role in boosting the TMB's social media presence. "I'm told we're just 100 'followers' away from reaching 15,000 on Twitter. This was something I never thought I'd see in my lifetime, and if we can reach that milestone by next Wednesday, it will be another reason for me to celebrate on World Tripe Day," he said.

18 October 2018

Chairman predicts "best World Tripe Day ever"

With less than a week to go until the big day, final preparations are being made for #WorldTripeDay 2018, the fifth annual worldwide celebration of tripe.

Sir Norman Wrassle
24 October 2018 looks set to be the biggest and best World Tripe Day yet as more people than ever embrace their love of tripe.

Tripe stockists are asked to ensure their supplies are secured in the run up to the 24th, and customers are asked to show restraint by not over-ordering. Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said "We want everyone to be able to enjoy a bit of tripe on World Tripe Day, whatever their age, religion or sexual predilection, but please don't be tempted to overdo it."

Industry analysts have suggested that sales of tripe in the week leading up to World Tripe Day now account for almost 2% of annual turnover.  "This is a quite remarkable achievement for an event that has been running for just five years," Sir Norman said.

Meanwhile, the TMB's publishing division reported 'brisk' sales of its books following a decision to reduce their prices in the pre-World Tripe Day period. Sir Norman said he was looking forward to the best World Tripe Day ever as more and more people discovered the joy of eating or reading tripe.

10 October 2018

Chairman denies Vegan Week prompted tripe books price cuts

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has today strenuously denied that a decision by TMB Books to slash the price of its publications was prompted by the growing popularity of Veganism and the decision by BBC TV's Great British Bake Off to host a 'Vegan Week'.

The allegation was made by radio presenter Gary Bradlow during a heated interview with Sir Norman on the popular Radio Lancashire drive-time show, Gassing with Gaz.

TMB Books had reduced the price of all its books on Amazon earlier today.  Forgotten Lancashire and Forgotten Yorkshire can both now be purchased for just £5.99 each, while The Lost Films of 20th Century Spatchcock is £6.99 and A Brief History of Tripe can be picked up for just £4.99, representing a combined saving of £13 on the total price for all publications. 

Sir Norman said that commercial decisions of TMB Books were not within his purview, but it was "entirely untrue" that Great British Bake Off's Vegan Week had influenced the price cut in any way. "I imagine it's more of a response to continued austerity and to help people celebrate the forthcoming World Tripe Day - that, and the fact that nobody has been buying them," he said.

Preparations for World Tripe Day in full swing

With just two weeks to go until the big day, preparations for #WorldTripeDay are in full swing all around the globe as the fifth international celebration of tripe approaches.  Tripe retailers have been advised to ensure their stocks are plentiful in advance of 24 October, as demand is expected to peak in the days leading up to it.

World Tripe Day was celebrated with more gusto than ever last year, with simultaneous events taking place in Preston, Barnsley, Pontefract and Rome.  This year, celebrations are expected in Australia, Bulgaria, and Lancashire, as well as in Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire and Humberside.

The Tripe Marketing Board will be celebrating the day in Sofia, where a gathering of aficionados will be tucking into a bowl of the local specialty, Shkembe Chorba

A Song for Tripe
Yesterday saw the launch of Have a Plate of Tripe, a specially-composed song by talented Scottish composer and author  Thomas Mackay written in honour of World Tripe Day. 

Meanwhile, TMB Books pledged to reduce the price of its tripe books in the run-up to the great day as a contribution to the celebrations. "We want as many people as possible to sample tripe - and we don't care if they're eating it, talking it or even reading it!" said Doreen Grey, Head of Publishing at TMB Books.  Potential purchasers should see prices being reduced in the next day or so. 

As never before, the nation - and the world - will be 'talking tripe', vindicating the decision made by the Tripe Marketing Board to launch the ceremonial event back in 2013.  TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle recalls how many people laughed at the idea, just as they did when the TMB made the decision to move into publishing the year before. "Thankfully, they're still laughing," Sir Norman said.

Right from the start, there were those who criticised the board's decision to use humour as a way to promote the sale of tripe. Sir Norman has always defended the decision robustly, saying in an interview in 2015: "If you can make people laugh, there's always the chance you can pop a bit of tripe in their mouths at the same time". 

2018 looks set to be the year when the TMB finally arrests the catastrophic decline in sales which began in 1956 and which has continued unabated until now. "Over the last five years we have increasingly slowed the decline and I firmly believe that sometime before the end of this year we will turn the corner and increase sales for the first time in 52 years," Sir Norman said.

8 October 2018

Tripe leak traced to cleaning company

The source of a series of leaks from the private office of Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has been traced to a firm of contractors employed to clean the chairman's home in Lytham St Annes.

The discovery came after an exhaustive investigation involving interviews with TMB board members, staff and volunteers, as well as Sir Norman's family members and regular visitors to his home.

Speaking earlier today, Sir Norman said he was pleased that the matter was now resolved. "I can't pretend it was pleasant having to interview my wife and mother-in-law, but they were given the right to be accompanied by a friend and, in the end, were exonerated," he said, adding: "It's all cleared up now and we will be hiring a new firm of cleaners."

The investigation followed the leak of private correspondence to celebrated political pundit Dan Hodges, self-styled 'Poverty Tsar' Frank Field MP and, most recently, to Johnny Mercer the MP for Plymouth Moor View.

The latest leak had been particularly embarrassing as it accidentally revealed the TMB's planned post-Brexit marketing campaign for tripe. 'Tripe - it's tolerably tasty' was to have featured on posters at bus stops and at selected motorway service stations in the south of England, but Sir Norman said that the element of surprise had now been lost.

He took the opportunity to apologise to Mr Mercer for any distress caused by the leaking of the letter. "I'm naturally sorry if this has caused him any distress, but I can confirm that the offer is still very much on the table," he said.

Leaked letter

3 October 2018

PM was reckless and irresponsible says TMB chairman

Tripe Marketing Board chairman Sir Norman Wrassle tonight branded Prime Minister Theresa May "reckless and irresponsible" for claiming that austerity was over in the UK.

The Prime Minister's comments came during a speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham earlier today but were swiftly condemned by Sir Norman at a meeting of the Lytham Ladies' Circle where he was guest of honour at their AGM.

"Back in 2013, the well-respected Institute for Fiscal Studies predicted austerity would last until at least 2020," Sir Norman said, adding "The Tripe Marketing Board has been relying on that projection to inform our sales strategy ever since then."

Sir Norman said tripe was "the perfect austerity foodstuff" and had been well-placed to capitalise on the unremitting harshness of Tory policies over the last five years.

"For Theresa May to suddenly pull the rug from under us is both reckless and irresponsible," he said.

In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman said he hoped the claim was merely just another throwaway conference pledge for which the Tories were well known, adding "I think most sane people will look around them and see that austerity hasn't really ended, and will continue turning to tripe as a cheap and sustaining meat-based dish."