Blog: Purple headed mountains
Catherine Sleep | 13 July 2004
Kraft Foods subsidiary Milka, the German chocolate maker, has announced a controversial promotional stunt. It plans to light up Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, in its trademark purple colour.
Milka plans to illuminate the 2,962 meter-high (9,600 feet) Zugspitze peak in the Alps with 140 purple spotlights for 40 minutes on 23 July. The company will film the event for a new ad campaign. But some politicians and environmentalists find the notion of a company espousing natural beauty spots for promotional ends distasteful. Some say it will make city kids think mountains are purple and lead to a distorted understanding of nature. Others simply don’t like the idea of putting a price on nature and exacerbating light pollution.
I’d quite like to see it, personally. Forty minutes is not long, and it should be spectacular. It puts me in mind of that Bulgarian artist, Christo, who wraps famous buildings and even mountains or whole islands in plastic sheets and fabrics. Spectacular, short-lived and fun. But then he wasn’t doing it to sell chocolate.
On a similar note, when I was in Rome the other day I noticed some massive promotional billboards shrouding a couple of the city’s historic monuments. In particular I was perturbed by a 200m2 advertisement for l'Oreal lipsticks covering the 16th century facade of the church of Trinita dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps. And it wasn’t just there for 40 minutes. The justification for it was that the fee paid by l’Oreal helps cover the costs of restoring Roman facades and buildings. Some say the city is so enjoying its new source of revenue that it has lost sight of the point at which advertising becomes more intrusive than it’s worth. I’d have to agree with them.
Since Theresa May took over as UK Prime Minister in the wake of the country's referendum vote to quit the European Union, she and her ministers have been at pains not to divulge their negotiating posi...
Greenpeace's long-running campaign against UK tuna brand John West, owned by seafood giant Thai Union, is now directing its fire against Sainsbury's....
The Obama administration appears to have conceded the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal will not be pushed through in the lame-duck session of Congress before Donald Trump is inaugur...
- Unilever 2016 investor day - the top takeaways
- Have food promotions reached tipping point?
- Mondelez goes beyond certified cocoa - analysis
- What Premier CEO Gavin Darby thinks about Brexit
- How Tyson's new CEO plans to grow the meat group
- Nestle unveils process to cut sugar by 40%
- Putin 'wants embargo to run as long as possible'
- Unilever sets new margin target with help from ZBB
- Unilever focuses on "value" of spreads arm
- McCormick to buy flavours business Enrico Giotti