Market producers criticise new campaign

MARKET producers today criticised a new advertising campaign to attract men as "crude and past its sell by date".The WI Market in Woodbridge has hit back at the "Hello, men" campaign with its own low-key style of advertising.

MARKET producers today criticised a new advertising campaign to attract men as "crude and past its sell by date".

The WI Market in Woodbridge has hit back at the "Hello, men" campaign with its own low-key style of advertising.

A 2004 calendar has gone on sale highlighting the attractions of the 75-minute Thursday market in the town's community hall.

The front photograph shows a picture of the queue and the monthly pictures feature the market stalls, producers, tea ladies and cashiers.


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The market organisers want to distance themselves from all the publicity associated with Women's Institutes and the WI markets.

The box office hit Calendar Girls was based on the semi-nude Rylstone and District WI calendar where the women were raising money for charity.

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Then a campaign was launched to promote WI Markets, which are not run by Women's Institutes, and to attract men to produce food and crafts to sell. This marketing campaign needs a woman to go top-less with two jam tarts hiding her assets.

But in Woodbridge the market producers have opted for a simpler and straightforward approach to promoting their stalls.

Fred Reynolds, market treasurer, said: ''The attitude of people in the local WI Market is that this latest campaign is past its sell by date and it is not appropriate.

''We are selling plants and bakery and that sort of thing and this market is a social occasion. It is a business but it is primarily a social business and most of the people who come here do so because it is the highlight of the week for them.

''The campaign wants models, nudes tastefully photographed, but this is totally out of place with what we are doing.''

However, such is the success of campaigns that visitors now arrive at Woodbridge and jokingly ask if the producers are going to take off their clothes. Mr Reynolds said: ''They reply, it's a bit cold for that!''

The calendar has been produced by Clive Martin, of Stephen Road, Kesgrave, who has sold at the market for four years. He said: ''I think this latest campaign about ''Hello, men'' is a bit crude. We thought we would go about it in a more tasteful way to promote our products.''

WI Country Markets Ltd, which co-ordinates the WI markets, has stressed that the image needs to be broadened to attract new producers otherwise the markets will fold.

But in Woodbridge there are between 50 and 60 producers and the market attracts up to 200 visitors.

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