"Too little, too late" marketing campaign for town centre

July 14, 2010 3:13 PM
Brentwood High Street

The marketing campaign should have started on completion of the works, not eight months later

Brentwood's Liberal Democrats have slammed the Tory administration for their desperate marketing effort because a campaign is only being implemented in July 2010 - eight months after the completion of the High Street project.

Cllr Karen Chilvers, who represents a town centre ward (Brentwood West), said:

"Quite simply, this campaign is starting far, far too late. A marketing campaign showing Brentwood as a shopping destination should have been planned in to coincide with the end of the High Street works and promote the town through the festive period and beyond to give retailers a head start.

Cllr Karen Chilvers and Nigel Clarke are committed to helping local independent traders

Cllrs Chilvers & Clarke supporting independent retailers in 2009

"Independent retailers especially suffered with the nine months of disruption making the effects of the recession much worse. To introduce this eight months on, when so many stores are suffering badly or have closed altogether is abysmal planning."

Furthermore, no specific research on what would attract shoppers back to the town has been conducted and Cllr Chilvers, a chartered marketer with 20 years experience in the field, said:

"No marketing campaign should start without relevant and timely research being conducted to inform the campaign. This can be done easily, quickly and cheaply in-house whilst ensuring the campaign is effective, but the council are instead relying on general research from non-targeted surveys, some of which is two years out of date."

The Liberal Democrats have consistently called for the first hour's parking to be free to encourage shoppers back to the town centre and this has been backed by shoppers and retailers alike.