Saturday, 30 October 2010

Boycott Britvic and Moneysupermarket.com, Durex, Scholl, Robinsons, Tango, J2O, Pepsi, 7Up, R. Whites Lemonade

This post may seem confusing but that is because Gerald Corbett appears to be a man with his fingers in many pies, so please bear with me.

Britvic plc is a British producer of soft drinks. They are the number two soft drinks producer (by volume and retail sales value) in the UK. The Company owns a number of leading brands in the UK including Britvic itself, R. White's Lemonade, Tango, Robinson's and J2O - as well as being the licensed bottler for PepsiCo products within the UK. In 2008 Britvic launched Gatorade in the UK, after securing the rights to do so from PepsiCo. In May of 2010, Britvic launched a UK exclusive drink called Mountain Dew Energy. It mostly tastes the same as its American counterpart, but has higher contents of caffeine and real sugar. The Company owns a number of leading brands in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, including, Ballygowan water, Britvic, Cidona, MiWadi, and Energise Sport as well as the rights to Pepsi and 7 Up brands in the territory through its bottling agreements with PepsiCo.

Current Brands includes 7 UP franchised from PepsiCo, Amé, J2O, Mountain Dew Energy franchised from PepsiCo, Drench, Gatorade franchised from PepsiCo, Robinsons, Pennine Spring, Pepsi franchised from PepsiCo, Tango, R. White's Lemonade, Purdey's, Red Devil Energy Drink, Shandy Bass, Britvic 55, Really Wild Drinks Company (Only available in Schools) and Idris.

Moneysupermarket.com Group PLC is a British price comparison website-based business specialising in financial services. The website enables consumers to compare prices on a range of products, including mortgages, credit cards and loans. The business was established in 1993 by Simon Nixon (a student at Nottingham University) and Duncan Cameron as a provider of off-line mortgage information to Independent Financial Advisors under the name Mortgage 2000. Since late 2009, comedian Omid Djalili has appeared in adverts for moneysupermarket.com.

SL International is the rapidly growing international consumer healthcare group whose major brands Durex and Scholl are sold in over 50 countries with manufacturing facilities primarily in India, China and Thailand. Gerald is also Chairman of Moneysupermarket.com, a price comparison website which floated in July 2007.

Gerald CorbettGerald Corbett is Chairman of Moneysupermarket.com, SSL International plc and Britvic plc.

After studying history at Cambridge University, where he was a foundation scholar, he attended London and Harvard business schools. He joined Boston Consulting Group, which advises on corporate strategy, in the mid-1970s. In 1982 he joined electrical retailer Dixons, where he became group Financial Controller and Corporate Finance Director. Since then, he has been a director of 10 public companies and Chairman of four - including Woolworths and Britvic. He was Chief Executive of Railtrack from 1997 to 2006.

In 1993, he became Group Finance Director of Grand Metropolitan, the food and drink giant. In February 1996 in The Mail on Sunday, Patience Wheatcroft identified Corbett as one of business' "high powered hot shots" who would lead British business into the new millennium. When "Grand Met" merged with Guinness to form Diageo, he lost his job to his counterpart at Guinness. Good call Patience.

We'll come back to Diageo in a later post. The draft Diageo posting is even more confusing than this one.

In March 2001, he was at the helm of Woolworths, appointed to oversee the demerger of Woolworths Group from Kingfisher. Once this was completed in August 2001, he remained on the board as Chairman. Woolworths have since gone out of business and Kingfisher are now subject to this boycott.

He is Chairman of the Royal National Institute of the Deaf, the UK's largest Charity representing the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We are NOT calling on people to boycott the RNID, that would be stupid.

He is also a Non Executive Director of the investment bank and stock broking business, Numis Securities. He is the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire for 2010/11 and is a member of the council of the High Sheriffs Association.

Described by David Freud in his book "Freud in the City" as "immensely approachable, a short and jovial figure, full of impromptu quips relayed to the accompaniment of short, barks of laughter".

On 18th October, Gerald Corbett signed an open letter calling on the Chancellor to continue the coalition government's plans to reduce the public finance deficit in one term, plans which included swingeing cuts on the poorest members of society and which risk pushing this country into a double-dip recession, the likes of which has not been seen since the last time the tories took power and tanked the economy in the early 80's.

For this reason Gerald Corbett is considered a fully signed up member of the Big Business Society and we urge people to boycott Moneysupermarket.com, SSL International plc and Britvic plc.

There are other fizzy drinks. There's always confused.com, mates condoms, and I'm sure Lloyds Pharmacy can recommend something for your feet. Other suggestions welcomed.

Update on Moneysupermarket.com as of 20th June 2011.

News has reached me that Moneysupermarket.com will be pausing all online affiliate activity as of Monday 27th June 2011. The official line is that their current affiliate program is being reviewed with an aim to upgrade the channel and improve security measures to minimize invalid transactions. However the statement also says that affiliates will be notified when the program is ready to be reactivated, which implies of course that is deactivating, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not. Sensible affiliates will switch to alternative channels in the meantime and are unlikely to switch back.

Affiliate marketing is key for any online business like Moneysupermarket.com. It's the way they generate traffic, outsource their pre-sales function and gain a good position on search engine return pages when someone types 'price comparison' into Google.

Turning this off could be the beginning of the end for them.

2 comments:

  1. Easy to achieve as loathe all those drinks and happy to not use moneysupermarket.com, although was quite saddened by the durex thing! Lots of much better stuff than Scholl in all chemists/pharmacies (obv do not go to Boots) and supermarkets for feet. Go to a chiropodist or podiatrist instead, support a local worker.

    thank you so much for the background info - very useful to know.

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  2. Thanks for the feedback. Keep up the good alternative suggestions. We need all we can get.

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