Struggled to find somewhere to buy a poppy this lunchtime. Market Street has no shortage of blokes giving out the MEN, or chuggers looking to sign you up, but not one stall working for the Royal British Legion. It turns out Stan on reception has a box and is making a collection. Panic over.
The poppy brand is iconic, but how is it competing in the face of autumn’s other, more bullish charities?
Children in Need is cranking out the Pudsey merchandise and agreeing tie-ins with retailers, new ones, such as Movember, have the freedom to write their own rules. The poppy, hemmed in by the sombre nature of the message, and not helped by BBC presenters being issued with theirs three weeks early, is in danger of looking like seasonal wallpaper. Like falling leaves and dark mornings.
I like the fact the Poppy Appeal stands apart, that there aren’t snazzy new designs or ones for your car bonnet, that there isn’t an Official Supermarket. I just worry that it is being swamped by other charities, or, worse, some smart arse will suggest a brand makeover.