01 June 1997

ICY CHILLS ran down the spines of the denizens of Charlotte Street and its environs when Adrian Cadbury’s views on advertising hit the headlines. The chairman of Cadbury Schweppes and new president of the Chartered Institute of Marketing told a CIM Midlands dinner last month: 'A fixation with advertising and agencies makes it unsurprising that marketing has a struggle to be taken seriously in the boardroom, and that the notion of marketing as a source of competitive advantage is regarded with suspicion.' Cadbury warned that institutional shareholders demand more evidence that marketing and sales expenditures contribute to market share, volume and earnings growth. At which point he fired his salvo at the army of non-accountable admen: 'Good marketing directors put at least as much thought into the fundamentals of IT, distribution, human resources, and customer service as they do into the froth of advertising, corporate identity and design. Many brands don’t need advertising, let alone an ad agency!' Backing his credo, the chocolatier has consistently put massive sums of his [shareholders’] money where his mouth is: viz Cadbury’s £10m sponsorship of Coronation Street and numerous large-scale national promotions.