PR agents sign up Tesco as cut-price festival sponsors

TescoTesco, the unwitting purveyors of horse meat with a long-time reputation for doing things on the cheap, and now the proud owners of an “express” store in a South Croydon landmark pub despite local opposition have “generously” agreed to sponsor this year’s South Croydon Food Festival, for the grand sum of


In October, Tesco reported half-year profits of

£1.6 billion

Every little bit helps?

The cut-price South Croydon sponsorship deal has been brokered by White Label, the PR consultants hired by Croydon Council, and paid for in part at least out of riot recovery money. Because White Label, unelected and unaccountable, is not a public body, how they spend public money is not subject to the rules of the Freedom of Information Act. Conveniently.

But Inside Croydon has seen an email from a White Label staffer Rosanna Farrar, dated February 27, which reveals that Tesco is paying just one-third of what was being sought as a sponsorship fee for the event.

It hardly provides much confidence in White Label’s abilities for negotiating commercial deals as part of their brief for Croydon.

The email says,

“I am happy to confirm that Tesco have agreed to sponsor the Food Festival to the tune of £2,000 with the possibility of up to £500 more in in-kind support, for example, they have discussed the possibility of providing food for performers/volunteers and/or possibly being able to provide volunteers from their employees on the day.

“It has been a long-winded and involved process and although Liz (at Tesco) and I were hoping that the committee who make the decisions re. funding would opt for the £6,000 sponsorship of the main stage, I still think this is extremely positive. They have been very clear that this is the maximum amount they can give us.

“They are very keen to keep in touch regarding our progress with securing further sponsors and hope that this will set the ball rolling with other financial support from local businesses.”

Local gossip suggests that since the Whitgift Foundation leased the Swan and Sugarloaf pub to Tesco last year, the Express store on the junction of the Brighton Road and Selsdon Road is taking weekly sales of


Meanwhile, residents and established traders complain of problems with traffic congestion at the busy junction every morning and evening as Tesco customers access and exit the car park there.

South End, or what the council is trying to rebrand as the "Restaurant Quarter". Hard cheese if you run a music shop, gallery, greengrocers or bakers

Hard cheese if you run a music shop, gallery, greengrocers or bakers

And the local traders’ businesses are feeling the impact of having yet another Tesco store on their doorstep, too. “It all adds up to much more than a couple of grand,” said one disgruntled shop-owner from what White Label has misguidedly re-labelled as “Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter”.

The parking issue is becoming a real sore point for the longer established traders in the area, since Croydon Council has stubbornly refused to provide any 30-minute free parking bays, as are available elsewhere in the borough, thus creating another anti-social yet serious commercial advantage for their mates at Tesco.

Every little helps, eh?

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6 Responses to PR agents sign up Tesco as cut-price festival sponsors

  1. Michael Hall says:

    £2,000. Or 80 ponies.

  2. andrew300100 says:

    Wow do you guys have anything positive to say? Just scanning your website and its negative central. And you are trying to “help” Croydon establish a better image? Your website irregardless of your hits or followers is just another avenue to have another pop at Croydon and the businesses actually trying to better the image and overall experience! Would be nice to read something positive on your site. Try that eh?

    • Haha. That is so funny.

      It is White Label that has the contract worth hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money each year to “spin” the nice, warm cuddly stories about what a bang-up job Croydon Council, the Croydon BID, the Whitgift Foundation and all their other clients are doing.

      We just reflect what is really happening in the real world.

      Oh, and by the way, Andrew: fancy posting under a real name, and being upfront about who it is you work for or represent?

  3. andrew300100 says:

    Hi InsideCroydon. Thank you for your response. Sounds like you have a bee in your bonnet about White Label as I was not at all aiming my point at them. It is actually the likes of the Council, BID and WF who are doing great things for Croydon but your blog would never portray this in amongst the doom and gloom you got on here.

    My name is actually Andrew and I am speaking on behalf of someone who has lived and works in Croydon so representing myself to answer your question. Now you know my real name what is yours insidecroydon? I am sure there are a lot of people reading your so called “reflections” about what is REALLY HAPPENING in the real world, who would like to see who is behind this negativity. Who are you insidecroydon? If you are so passionate about revealing the so called truth then you should be bold enough to reveal yourself?

    Yes, I suspect that will be the end of this conversation….

    • The site editor’s name has been on every page across the site for a good while now, and has been well known throughout Croydon since the site was launched in 2010, so you’ll have to do a bit better than that.

      The fact that we have a comments policy that disallows anonymous commenters (for a range of sound editorial reasons) means that you’ve been given a free ticket twice now, Andrew.

      Just curious who you really are, since your mail IPO seems to indicate a White Label address.

  4. Arfur Towcrate says:

    £2k is cheap for the publicity that Tesco will get for this – but if the “festival” goes ahead, then I won’t begrudge them that, despite their low outlay.

    But we deserve bigger and better, and to have something that will get outsiders to visit our town again. What I’d like to see is a return to the weekend Croydon Festival that used to have in Lloyd Park that attracted and entertained 50,000+ people.

    Lambeth Council have already got a web page ready for their 2013 Country Show in July and are touting for sponsorship opportunities and inviting traders to apply for pitches. Here we’ve got SFA. Croydon Tories appear to be po-faced party poopers who wouldn’t appreciate culture if it jumped up and bit them on the arse. Will things change after the May 2014 council elections?

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