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Bowled over by the B&B squad

Messrs Bradford and Bingley are being reincarnated this week with the unveiling of a new TV advertising campaign for the group&#39s IFA division, The MarketPlace.

But B&B says the characters (pictured right) have been updated as the Advice Squad – a male Bradford and a female Bingley, sporting dark glasses and black suits with the customary bowler hats.

It says it decided against using the pair to launch The MarketPlace at B&B in March last year because they were too clearly linked in public perception with its business before demutualisation in 2000.

But it believes the IFA has altered how people view the group so it is time for the characters to return after been dropped from TV ads in 1996.

The TV ad demonstrates how The MarketPlace can find the products for individual customers by featuring actor Hugh Laurie shopping in a market being helped by the Advice Squad. The ad is backed by press advertising, a poster campaign, in-branch promotions and direct mail.

B&B group marketing director Mark Howe says: “Mr Bradford & Mr Bingley were tremendous brand icons in their day and the new up-to-date versions will give us a strong foundation.”

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