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McVitie’s recalls ‘Sweeet Friends’ promo characters

Monday April 27, 2015 at 12:25pm
United Biscuits (UB) is voluntarily recalling all of the Sweeet Friends promotional characters sent out to consumers, after two reports of eyes coming loose on the plush toys. It is unclear how many toys have been distributed to consumers, but there were a total of 3.5 million to be won in the on-pack promotion. McVitie's says in a statement: "This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure due to two instances reported by consumers where an eye of a character became detached. United Biscuits takes its responsibility seriously, and is acting out of extreme caution to do all it can to remove the Sweeet Friends characters from circulation and recall the characters immediately whilst the situation regarding the fault is resolved." Everyone who has been sent one of the toys is being asked to send them back. McVitie’s will send them a £5 voucher redeemable against UB products and a replacement toy once the problem has been sorted out. UB is contacting consumers who were sent toys with details of the recall, or people can ring the company’s freephone helpline or look on the company’s websites (www.united biscuits.com or www.mcvities.co.uk) details. UB had invested £3 million in the promotion, including television advertising. Consumers were offered the chance to win their very own McVitie’s Sweeet Friend character, representing one of the four animals featured in the hugely-popular McVitie’s Sweeet TV ads. The competition was set to feature on over 35 million packs across 36 different biscuit and cake SKUs. This covered the majority of the McVitie’s range, including household favourites such as McVitie’s Chocolate Digestives, the number one product within the UK sweet biscuit category, Digestives, HobNobs and Rich Tea. Each pack contains a unique code which consumers were supposed to send in to UB via text to find out instantly whether they were one of 3.5 million potential winners. There was a one in 10 chance of a code being a winning one. There were also a number of no-purchase-necessary opportunities to win a McVitie’s Sweeet Friend character across the McVitie’s website, social media and media promotions. The on-pack offer was also be supported by a fully integrated TV, PR, and social media campaign and eye-catching promotional material for retailers, such as bespoke shippers and in-store point of sale material. The McVitie’s Sweeet campaign, which has been extremely successful so far, launched in 2014 with a series of TV ads which showed cuddly animals emerging from McVitie’s packaging. It was supposed to portray the emotional response associated with everyday biscuit eating moments.
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