‘Middle-aged sock puppets’ to join supermarket’s drinks buying team

Graphic: Rob 'sock puppet' Johnson

Pricefixer Supermarkets is advertising for three middle-aged drinks professionals, to ‘enhance brand specialist credibility’ and ‘leverage the customer perception interface’.

According to the advert, the successful candidates will be ‘a reassuring, but meaningless presence that encapsulate Pricefixer’s core values of perception over substance’.

‘Basically, our BWS buying team look like a fucking boy band,’ said Giles Methadone, head of brand perception at Pricefixer. ‘Their average age is about twelve and I doubt they could tell an Amarone from their own arsehole.

‘The problem is we appoint buyers for their ability to format spreadsheets, not for their expertise at poncing around the world’s vineyards.

‘And it shows!’

PR disaster

Shortly after their Sauvignon Blanc ‘Zestival’ last month the supermarket launched a disastrous PR campaign, inviting the drinks media to ‘Meet our Experts’.

Bad girl blogger Val Tartaric summed up the mood when she said ‘These guys don’t look old enough to get served at their local Wetherspoons, never mind buy craft beer. And since when did six months experience buying bog roll mean you know how to choose Burgundy?’

Social media was soon flooded with hundreds of gifs of ducks landing on ice, cats falling out of trees and babies headbutting tables with the hashtag #imapricefixerexpert.

‘We’ve learnt our lesson,’ said Methadone. ‘We need a bunch of middle-aged wine trade soaks to slap on all future wine communication. People who look like they could sink a couple of bottles of Rioja single-handed and still have room for a cheeky digestif.’

To Pricefixer’s delight, since the advert went live yesterday they have been inundated with applicants.

‘It turns out the country is awash with ex-buyers, ex-head sommeliers, ex-wine merchants and resting journalists, all with decades of experience and the kind of face that says ‘Pass the Port, Smithers, and make it snappy’,” said Methadone.

Just a (not so) pretty face

But applicants hoping for a spot of buying responsibility will be disappointed.

‘This is an image rights gig only,’ warned Methadone. ‘We won’t be letting them within a mile of the actual buying process. There’s a perfectly good algorithm that does most of the hard work and our Boy Band can fill in the rest.’

As for the idea that decades of experience could be used to create a more diverse and stimulating range, Methadone is dismissive.

‘That’s the last thing we want!’ he told Fake Booze. ‘We don’t make a bajillion quid profit every year by cluttering our shelves with anything remotely interesting.

‘I mean, have you seen our customers?’

Thanks to Peter Stafford-Bow for his time in the bowels of Pricefixer. While he decontaminates, you can catch more of his work here

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