Uncertainty over the future of radical pack redesigns is mounting this week, following the controversial axing of Williams Murray Hamm’s ‘successful’ Jaffa Cakes branding (DW 23 September).
Williams Murray Hamm director Richard Williams fears the implications for designers: ‘People in design are working very hard to persuade clients to try innovative ideas and when a project that has been a success is withdrawn, it seems to show that clients aren’t willing to be adventurous,’ he says.
The news that the logo-less packs are to be abandoned has sent shockwaves through the industry, particularly because sales of Jaffa Cakes shot up by 14 per cent as a result of the slogan- based project, according to United Biscuits’ own figures.
Despite the evident design effectiveness of WMH’s branding, United Biscuits bosses have opted for what is said to be a safer design concept by Jones Knowles Ritchie – one which would not impede any future sale of the business.
McVitie’s repeatedly declined to answer further probing on the subject, but sent the following statement: ‘We’re delighted the design work has been successful in driving growth, and while we will be reverting back to our original pack design on Jaffa Cakes, we will continue to develop new and exciting marketing initiatives to drive growth of the magnitude seen this year.’
Last October, United Biscuits also withdrew WMH’s repackaging of crisps brand Phileas Fogg (DW 30 Ocober).