Matt Webster
Matt Webster 21 September 2016

Why Gary Lineker Is Not like Tesco…or My Old Mate Colin

It's all about trust in the battle for attention and brand love. Find out why Gary Lineker edges it over Colin and smashes Tesco out of the park when it comes to recent displays of integrity.


I had a friend at school who was a compulsive liar. He couldn’t help himself. The original jacket worn by Michael Jackson in Moon Walker? He had it in his wardrobe. A football coach Uncle who taught Bob Marley how to do kick ups? Yep he had that guy (and Bob) on speed dial. Need to know how to get into to the miles of secret tunnels worming their way under the peak district? No problem, talk to Colin, he had the keys after all! My other mates and I put up with his ludicrous fantasies. He was an entertaining lad and good value to have around. Although annoying on occasion, there were times when you were slightly sucked into his make believe monologues of codswallop. One thing he never fibbed about though was who he was and where he was from. He was always true to his roots and proud of his Yorkshire upbringing. Saying that though Colin’s unstoppable desire to broadcast tales of fiction as if they were fact meant that he was tolerated more than revered by his mates and crucially, we didn’t fully trust him.


One of the reasons that Tesco took a huge rise from mid table supermarket stasis to become the consistent crown bearer and king of the ‘big four’, was the introduction of its value range. The simple no nonsense blue striped branding and of course the low prices were a success. Tesco had provided low cost alternatives to the big brands that fought for space on its shelves. This was a different tact to the new second division supermarkets from the continent, Aldi & Lidl. It was a way of fighting them off. For a while, it worked. Another Tesco own brand was launched later in (2006). Tesco 'Finest' was thrust into our aisles. But instead of living underneath the price of the household brands, this time it resided above them. Again this had a positive impact and, for a while, made sure that Tesco qualified for the supermarket champion’s league. But eventually the Germans caught up and caught on that copying…pays.

The recent problems landing on Tesco’s door surround the fact that Tesco’s fight back was...dishonest. Rosedene Farm brought us delicious strawberries. Don’t forget the idyllic English small holdings of Boswell Farm and Willow Farm. Maybe you’d like to skip down the lane and through the meadow to Woodside Farm for some free range pork sausages? The problem is, you can’t …none of them exist. The bigger problem is none of them source their produce from the UK. The monumental problem for Tesco is that the press and consumers have noticed and they don’t like it. Dishonesty doesn’t sell and it means trust levels in any brand that displays it go straight to zero.



Half way through the premier league season in 2015, Gary Lineker made a promise on live TV. If his beloved Leicester City actually continued their unexpected good run of form and actually won the league, he’d present Match of the Day on day one of 2016 season – in only his pants. The foxes won the league, the old grey fox stuck to his word and brand ‘Lineker’ gained admiration, respect and most importantly…trust.

If you want people to interact with you, buy your product, listen to what you're saying, watch your video or spend ANY time on what you're giving to the universe. Be honest. If you're not you'll get found out pretty quickly (it's 2016) and its a long road back to being trusted.

Matt Webster is Co-Founder of - a brand entertainment agency

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