Poor start to gardening season leads to delayed campaigns

Westland has negotiated a "garden industry first" in TV advertising to delay the start of its lawn campaign because of the prolonged wintry weather.

Westland will run its £1m-plus TV campaign for Aftercut ‘Even-Flo’ lawn spreader from 17 April - three weeks later than initially planned.

The advert will now be broadcast as part of an extended schedule that will run until the end of May.  It will be shown on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and various Sky Channels including Sky Sports, Sky Atlantic and National Geographic.

Westland marketing director Keith Nicholson said: "We identified the challenge the garden industry may face as a result of the current weather and took the unprecedented step to move our campaign to mid-April - something I believe will be a real boost to the industry during next month and May.  

"For the past few weeks we have been proactively working with our media partners to ensure we deliver the full campaign when the weather is more favourable, in turn, ensuring it has the most significant impact to the gardening sector in 2013 through increased footfall and peak sales.

"TV media is traditionally very inflexible when it comes to changing a pre-booked advertising schedule, due to programming complexity. I am therefore delighted with this outcome, which, to my knowledge, is a real first in TV advertising within our sector.  We cannot thank our partners enough for their flexibility."

Westland’s Aftercut ‘Even-Flo’ lawn spreader was recently crowned the ‘Best Garden Product’ at this year’s Hardware/DIY Home Garden Show - a biennial trade-only event organised on behalf of the Hardware Association Ireland.

Garden centre sales figures supplied to Horticulture Week for the week to 24 March showed sales 30 per cent down on 2012.

Aquatics fell 30 per cent, book fell 37 per cent, clothing fell two per cent, craft fell 20 per cent, food fell 12 per cent, furniture fell 22 per cent, sundries fell 55 per cent, gifts fell 40 per cent, houseplants fell 75 per cent, outdoor plants fell 75 per cent, pets fell 15 per cent and catering 30 per cent.

Mothers Day was in the corresponding week in 2012, but fell a fortnight earlier in 2013.

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