Brand on the run?

February 4, 2010

Our Deputy Head of Corporate Branding, Christine Hovis, has responded vigorously to a complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority about our university's branding strategy.

Following in the wake of a complaint to the ASA about the University of Plymouth labelling itself "the enterprise university" despite only two of its 2008 students having gone on to start a business, this new complaint questions the validity of Poppleton's "Transforming Lives" brand.

According to the complainant, a Mr D.W.B. Gutteridge of Oak Tree Avenue, Middle Poppleton, not one of the students in his sample of graduates from Poppleton in 2009 conformed to the promise of the slogan. Most of the sample regarded their own lives as totally "untransformed" or believed that they had "regressed" to an earlier stage of existence.

However, Ms Hovis insisted that Mr Gutteridge's sample was invalid. "We have ample evidence", she told The Poppletonian, "that our graduates' lives have been transformed as a result of their time at this university. A significant proportion have gained a good inch in height, lost several pounds in weight and become virtually destitute."

But Ms Hovis did agree that the existence of the complaint had led to "a rethink" of the university's proposed new brand slogan "Creating tomorrow's leaders today".

Where have all the readers gone?

Our thrusting Director of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Targett, has welcomed new data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency that show that less than half of all staff in higher education are now academics and that this proportion is continuing to decline.

In a prepared statement, Targett praised the enlightened human resources policy at Poppleton, which had already ensured that managers and academics were close to numerical equilibrium.

"It is", he declared, "already a far cry from the bad old days on the Poppleton campus when it was impossible for managers to go about their business without finding their progress impeded by gangs of chattering book-laden scholars."

Wider still and wider

Our vice-chancellor has attacked the compilers of the Times Higher Education Student Experience poll for the "narrowness of its attributes".

Speaking to our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), he claimed that it was "not altogether" surprising that our university was ranked 105th in a poll that so singularly failed to tap into any of the distinctive aspects of the Poppleton experience:

Large open spaces for roaming (formerly the Science Park)

Proximity of transport services (Number 55 to Poppleton station - every 35 minutes during daylight)

Housing with panoramic views (Tower blocks C and D)

Access to condom machines (not available at Newman University College, Birmingham)

Mature floral displays (vice-chancellor's private garden. By appointment only)

Thought for the Week

(contributed by Jennifer Doubleday, Head of Personal Development)

A brave little daffodil bulb in my back garden has already forced its first shoot up through the frozen earth. I hope that this little thought will encourage you all to put forth your own special shoot.

"A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home".

lolsoc@dircon.co.uk.

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