Cadbury Pulls UK TV Ads After Chocolate Bug Scare

28 June 2006

Confectionery giant Cadbury Schweppes has withdrawn sponsorship of a leading UK television show while it deals with the furore surrounding the discovery of possible salmonella contamination in a number of its products.

The London-headquartered company says the break in its £10 million ($18.2m; €14.4m) deal with the long-running Coronation Street soap is a "short-term measure", following the recall of around one million chocolate bars.

The sponsorship is in the form of idents at the beginning and end of the show and during ad breaks. Some other commercials have also been withdrawn.

Cadbury has been criticized for the five month delay between the discovery of the bug in one of its factories at the beginning of the year and last week's confirmation to the Food Standards Agency watchdog and subsequent product recall.

The firm claims it did not report the contamination because the levels, which were under the authorised threshold, were so low. However, questions have been asked as to whether the delay had more to do with maximizing sales during the busy Easter holiday sales period.

Comments an FSA spokesman: "Chocolate is a high conductor of salmonella and needs only a low level of contamination to be a risk to health."

Data sourced from Brand Republic (UK); additional content by WARC staff