Brands gear up for Royal baby windfall

Betting firms, souvenir manufacturers and retailers are gearing up for the arrival of the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child, and likely future monarch, expected early next week.

The birth of the child is expected to help inject £240m into the stop-start  UK economy, according to figures for the Centre of Retail Research.

In the build up to the arrival itself Argos has launched a TV campaign (see video) featuring its alien characters that ties into a Twitter push asking viewers to #NameOurBaby. The quirky spot, created by CHI & Partners, follows the family as they are about to add a baby from a pregnant Dad. The winning name – Blue – was announced last week (29 June).

In a reminder of its betting offers on everything from the gender, hair colour and name of the expected baby, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power sent four crowned ‘babies’ (see picture) to various spots around the capital, such as Buckingham Palace and the hospital where the Duchess is due to give birth.

A spokesman for the company says the sum of wagers placed on the birth of the future monarch are expected to amount close to £500,000. “It’s one of the biggest ‘novelty bet’ categories of the year,” he adds.

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Separately, clothing brand Seraphine has launched a campaign targeted in the West London area promoting its maternity wear earlier this week asking the question: “Is it a Girl? Haribo is also looking to jump on the baby bandwagon with a range of limited edition Royal Jelly babies. The sweet maker has trademarked the names ‘Haribo Royal Babies and ’Haribo Royal Jelly Babies’ as possible names for the range.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity has prepped a “Royal Lullabies” playlist that will play lullaby versions of patriotic anthems God Save the Queen, Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. The songs, available from the Profero-created website, will go live alongside videos once the baby is born. Fans are encouraged to make a small donation when downloading the tracks.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), however, has issued guidelines (27 June) instructing marketers to ensure members of the Royal Family aren’t shown or mentioned in campaigns without prior permission. 

Royal Arms or emblems shouldn’t be used without prior permission from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, according to the ASA.  

“Ads shouldn’t go as far as claiming or implying that a particular product is endorsed by the Royal Family, or that a product is affiliated to royal events when it is not,” reads the guidance note.  

Those planning to launch souvenirs marking the child’s birth were specifically told ensure that the ad doesn’t imply that a souvenir product is official memorabilia.  

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