Over the past few days we have been consumed by Marmitegate, the latest Brexit price war to unfold on Twitter.
Suppliers, Unilever, a European based company, increased their wholesale costs by 10% as a result of the continuous weakening of the Pound against the Euro. News spread quickly of Tesco’s refusal to pay the increase, encouraging a UK-wide panic buy.
As a backlash against Tesco’s decision to no longer stock the product, businesses and marmite-lovers (plus haters) became keyboard warriors for the day, with some getting pretty creative in order to get their point across.
With social media contributors renowned for their ability to undercut serious matters, Marmitegate brought us at Ivy Marketing a few laughs, as well as some genius examples of brands jumping on bandwagons.
As huge believers in user-generated content we were happy to see things like this:
And, we expect someone from Vegemite’s marketing department will be getting a pretty big bonus for this gem:
While providing the information for hilarious memes there was an air of seriousness that surrounded Marmitegate, with Conservative MP, Sir Gerald Howarth, quoted to have said the following:
“I think it will be very damaging to the reputation of Unilever if they seek to use the fall in the pound to exploit the consumer.
“Clearly products which are not dependent upon imports into the United Kingdom will not be affected by the fall in the value of the pound.
“Consumers will switch to other products where companies aren’t seeking to fleece the consumer.”
With consumers being the centre of attention, Tesco’s very public war has encouraged social commentary, with Remain and Leave camps both getting involved.
Tesco’s PR plan
Seeing many consumers displaced by their decision to get rid of marmite, Tesco gave way to online debates, both serious and utterly ridiculous. Gaining an incredible amount of exposure Tesco almost played Devil’s advocate, reigniting the Brexit war whilst enjoying healthy amount of traffic and consumer interaction; two things all digital-focused businesses crave for.