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Home > World

I want to be a Walmart of it

3 October 2003

Last month, for a cool $166 million, the Big Apple officially became the Big Snapple. Holding a can of fruit juice and flanked by a local high school football team, New York’s businessmayor Michael Bloomberg announced that Snapple Beverage Group, a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes, had been awarded a five year contract to be the exclusive provider of fruit juices and water in the city’s public schools.

The deal, which makes Snapple New York’s “first official corporate marketing partner”, represents the first major initiative by the city’s all-new Chief Marketing Officer, Joseph Perello, formerly of the NFL. Amid a lot of talk about choosing a brand which matches the spirit of the city, Perello acknowledged that Snapple being the highest bidder didn’t hurt.

As the backlash begins (social critic Ralph Nader has already suggested that “Mayor Bloomberg might want to make City Hall and his own backside available”), Snapple vending machines are being shipped to schools and public buildings, and other vendors are lining up at Perello’s door, chequebooks in hand.

In fact, so profitable has the scheme proved that our own Government - no slouches themselves when it comes to public private partnerships - are said to be considering whether a slightly less brazen version of the Snapple deal could be used to prop up Britain’s cash-poor public services.

We can’t help but wonder which of Britain’s towns or cities is at the top of the list for re-branding. ‘Your Super Soaraway Sunderland’ perhaps?

Or Knorrwich?

Minute Maidstone?

BarNetto?

DeptFord?

Bourneville?

Nike Town?



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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