WAITROSE has come in for some ridicule over a piece of social media marketing that backfired.
That is, backfired as in Waitrose being mentioned in thousands of media outlets and being the subject of millions of internet hits.
The advertising pitch was straightforward, an invitation on Twitter for people to complete the sentence: "I shop at Waitrose because -" The gentle grocer probably did not expect so many tweeters to be so twisted. "Because I detest being surrounded by poor people," was one response. Another: "Because I think food must automatically be better if it costs three times as much."
My tweet would have been: "I shop at Waitrose mainly for the reduced bargains so I can eat crumbs from the rich man's table." Turkey and ham pie with apricots, Breton coarse pate with wild mushrooms, and bijou ham houghs are just some of the stuff sourced recently at well under a quid. Waitrose does serious heading-for-the-bin price-cuts.
I also shop at Waitrose because I can't find pink peppercorns at Lidl. Or for pigs' cheeks when I don't have time to go to Davidson the butcher in Glasgow's Scotstoun.
Another mock-the-middle-class tweet said: "Because Clarissa's pony just will not eat ASDA Value straw." This inverted snob has obviously never been in Lidl the week equestrian equipment (but not straw, yet) is on sale.
During my Waitrose supermarket sweeps, I am impressed by the mouthwatering food on offer. Iberico bellota ham from acorn-fed wild pigs, top-quality chorizo, manchego cheeses. Sadly, they are at eye-watering prices. It may be nearly as cheap to fly Ryanair and shop in Spain.
The Waitrose Twitter exercise did at least throw up some decent humour. Like the bloke who likes to shop there because he hears comments such as: "Orlando, put down that papaya."
The biggest joke is that in Britain, food is a class issue.
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