Friday, 23 January 2009

1962: IIUIIIILY & IAIIILPS Superior Reading Biscuits - Get 'Em At The Corner Shop!

It's 1962, and Martha Longhurst (Lynne Carol), Minnie Caldwell (Margot Bryant) and Florrie Lindley (Betty Alberge) are horrified to see Christine Hardman (Christine Hargreaves) up on the raincoat factory roof, contemplating suicide.

In their angst, nobody seems to have noticed that Mrs Lindley is selling "IIUIIIILY & IAIIILPS [how on earth did you pronounce it?!!] Superior Reading Biscuits" at the Corner Shop.

Brand names were a problem for the Coronation Street production team for years, as it was assumed that the merest glimpse of a known brand name would be unpaid advertising - and send we viewers scrurrying out in our thousands to buy the product. So, the names would be heavily disguised (did IUIIIILY & IAIIILPS start out as Huntley and Palmer's, I wonder?) and you could end up with pure gobbledygook. It was better to stick a "Starmark", "Key" or "Fantasy" label over the offending trade name, as was often the case later.

However, there could be slip-ups. In Mrs Lindley's window can also be seen the highly distinctive Kellogg's brand name, looking slightly blurred but still recognisable!

Dependable Maggie Clegg (Irene Sutcliffe) appears to have scratched most of the Kellogg's name off of this box of Rice Krispies in the 1970s! "Really, Mrs Clegg, one feels one must protest at the dire state of your merchandise! If the box is in that state, what on earth must the contents be like?!"

HV Kershaw, Corrie writer and producer, recalled in his fascinating 1981 memoir, The Street Where I Live, that one incumbent at the Corner Shop caused the production team a severe headache. A recognisable tinned brand name was tucked away behind some dummy "Key" brand tins on the Corner Shop shelf. Unfortunately, the shop owner accidentally fumbled behind the dummy tins and produced one of the recognisable brand variety, telling her customer that she knew it wasn't as good as her usual brand, but it was all she had in stock at the moment! The manufacturer was quick to pick up the phone and dial Granada!

Mind you, that wouldn't go down too well in the current day and age!

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