14 Aug 2013

New brand campaign for overseas trade

5:32 pm on 14 August 2013

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise is working on a brand campaign to prevent businesses relying on the 100% Pure New Zealand slogan when they promote their products abroad.

The Pure campaign has been under attack since the Fonterra contamination scare, and the owner of that brand, Tourism New Zealand, said it has been hijacked for use beyond tourism marketing.

Trade and Enterprise said the campaign is called The New Zealand Story. Chief executive Peter Chrisp said it aims to give firms ways of telling overseas buyers what is good about this country, without relying on the 100% Pure mantra.

"I think the feeling had been for some time that 100% Pure was a tourism campaign," he said.

He said firms want to tell a country story and use it as a base for promoting their businesses.

The New Zealand Story will provide collateral such as audio visual resources, images and story lines that marketers can package up and incorporate into their own branding campaigns.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the original intention of the slogan was to promote a pure travelling experience, which became highjacked - one which he said was extremely successful.

"I do think it has been used to further other people's agendas and I think people have used it to ensure that their story's been told, rather than actually looking at what the ads are, and how they're being used to promote New Zealand as a visitor destination."

Juliet Roper from Waikato University says the 100% Pure branding is too valuable to put on the backburner. She says it is convenient for the Government to refer to 100% Pure as a tourism-only brand so it is not responsible for making sure its credentials stack up.

Professor Roper is leading a research team that has a $770,000 research grant to examine the vulnerability of the nation's global environmental position.

Trade and Enterprise said The New Zealand Story is set to be rolled out in the coming months.

Campaign always a risky business - Commissioner

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environmen Jan Wright said she's always believed the campaign was risky and had been asking for trouble, even if the country was 99.9% pure.

She said water quality, threats to native birds and New Zealand pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol are easy targets for those wishing to pick holes in the 100% Pure campaign.

Dr Wright said the campaign also potentially poses a threat to New Zealand's economy, as country's undermine it to boost their own economies.

That could already be on display, she said, with Sri Lanka blocking some Fonterra product, claiming it has tested positive for a contaminant, despite the government saying that is not the case.

She believes a better marketing slogan would be Clean and Green New Zealand - a simple phrase, with enough positive examples, but offers no guarantees.