Cool It Innocent!

Every household with someone over the age of 60 is entitled to help with their heating and will receive a winter fuel allowance. They don’t all need it of course as some are still working and others are in a perfectly capable financial position but I’m happy with that. If it’s means tested then some people who do need it will slip through the net and it’s far easier and safer to keep it the way it is ensuring those who do need it definitely get it!

Still, even with the allowance some of our pensioners can’t afford to heat their homes in winter. They are quite literally freezing and this isn’t on. Lots of the older generation in our country fought in a war and paid taxes all their life; they don’t deserve to have fuel bills be so extensive that they can’t keep themselves comfortable and warm. No one does! Often their only option in to rely on charity which is probably very humiliating for them but what can they do? Our government should have ensured that prices weren’t hiked like they have been but what’s the point in going over that again? It’ll do no good, the conservative government is, in my opinion, an absolute joke and this is just one more point to add to a very long list!

So charity it is then! No other choice. Age UK are there to help senior people in difficulty and a brilliant job they do too. As with every charity they rely on donations and to have the backing of a big company who can promote the appeal must be absolutely amazing. AgeUK have the support of Innocent, the company who make the fruit smoothies and healthy veg pots. Isn’t that fantastic! Innocent are publicly announcing their involvement and encouraging their customers to donate. I haven’t a problem with that and it will undoubtedly raise money. My problem is HOW they’re doing it as I think they are all about the gimmick, which is for themselves and not too much about the charity. Surely they could combine both if only they had better marketing minds?

So Innocent and their campaign, ‘The Big Knit’, are encouraging us to knit. For every piece of knitting we submit to them they will donate 10 pence to Age UK. So far so good. There’s also another way you can join in by designing your own piece of knitting on their website and sharing it with your Facebook and Twitter fans meaning even if you can’t knit then they will still donate the ten pence. Again, so far so good eh? So what’s my problem?

Well, my problem is WHAT they are asking us to knit. A little hat that will fit nothing and no one. Aside from their bottles that is. They are donating money for every silly hat knitted by the public then they put said hats on their bottles which go on the supermarket shelves. In the supermarket THEY as a company get noticed. On your Facebook and Twitter feeds THEY as a company get noticed but none of that is raising much more for the charity. On top of that what’s anyone going to do with such a silly little hat afterwards?

It’s a waste of wool and a waste of time that could all be put to much better use!

I suggested to them on Facebook that instead they ask their customers to knit squares which could then be turned into blankets. They could still donate the ten pence for every one but there would also be no waste and a second decent outcome for Age UK who could pass on the blankets to those in need. Innocent poo pooed the idea to me. I don’t know why?

Actually I think I do know why! The gimmick factor! Although they are happy to raise money for the charity it seems they are not prepared to do it without a return for themselves. They do say there is no such thing as a selfless good deed and this from Innocent proves they don’t want to buck that trend. Silly little hats, a funny and cute advertising campaign and then rows and rows of hand knitted hats on bottles draws everyone’s attention to Innocent and although they donate the much needed ten pence, it doesn’t seem to bother them that they could be doing much more and using their strength for much better good!

I don’t see why it can’t be a cute advertising campaign AND ten pence for every square AND a bundle of beautiful blankets to give at the end?

Why would knitting squares be better and what would I do if it were my company?

Everyone can knit a square, even the most novice of needle clacker, but a hat? I wouldn’t have a clue! More people could knit and donate meaning more ten pence pieces from Innocent! (Maybe that’s their problem?)

More people could volunteer to sew the blankets together, I’m sure lots of people would and I’m sure everyone would rather the squares went to cold people than the mini hats got dusty in the back of a cupboard!

The squares would all be a certain size but that would be the only stipulation. They could be plain and simple or fun and detailed! They could even be crochet squares!

I would canvas for volunteers to sew them together, bundles could be sent out to them or they could come to the Innocent office and perhaps there could even be a live video cam of the volunteer knitters creating!

You could still design a square on their website and perhaps they could then be turned into patterns by experienced knitter volunteers so that other knitters could create them! A competition for the best one could be initiated!

Ok so there would be no funky hats on the shelves but really… For the greater good surely that is better? I don’t want to sabotage Age UK making money but I do want Innocent to see that what they’re doing, while cute, is just a bit frivolous when they could be making more of a mark! It wouldn’t take much to turn around and say ‘You know what, we were wrong, this is how we’re going to do it from now on’. They of course won’t.

Innocent are owned by Coca Cola. I was surprised as the wholesome ‘ethical’ image they portray is not one I would associate with fizzy drinks and HUGE corporations. I haven’t a problem with Coca Cola but I can’t help but think Innocent have sold out. It’s a shame they’re selling out on this too! It shouldn’t be about them, if they donate to charity it should be about the best way to raise for Age UK possible and this isn’t, this is about advertising!


We’ve had a funny week with Florence being upset in school (nursery). She was told off for accidentally wetting herself which made us all annoyed. There’s a bit more detail to the story like the fact she had spare clothes in her bag but instead they made her wear a pair of trousers too big for her and she was changed in front of the whole class but the thing that made us so angry was that she was told she was naughty and disbelieved when she explained it was an accident. She was put on the naughty spot for all her peers to see as an example. Fair enough if she’d actually been naughty as the one and only other time she’s been on the spot she had pulled another girl’s hair but I am NOT happy about it for this! She is mortified and I don’t blame her, I’m mortified on her behalf and even more so because other Mums have come up to tell me that their children have told them and I ought to know what happened in case I didn’t already!

We love Florence’s nursery but there are obviously some failings somewhere and with the actual teacher being away on a course that day I think the matter was worse than it might have been.

I wasn’t told when I arrived and was given a very funny story from the lady who told her off when I asked. I’m so not the sort of person to ‘go up the school’ but I felt I had no choice on this occasion. I’ve had a meeting with the head of department and we all hope this won’t ever happen again. It’s not right to tell children they are naughty when they are not. Florence was very hurt and didn’t want to go back to school again she said. She asked me repeatedly to make sure they know she’s not naughty and to sort it out for her before she did go back which I reassured her about but I’m annoyed she had to feel that way. She’s a brave little thing though and went back without being too upset and is enjoying it again now. I was very impressed with how the head of the department has dealt with it but upset it had to happen. I also have to say that we think all the staff members we know are wonderful so hopefully it is just a blip!

On a lighter note we’ve been having lots of Autumnal fun and Florence is loving scooting to and from school on her new scooter while Jimmy is just very happy to run along side her chasing leaves! He loves running outside and being free and even though it takes an age to get home because we have to stop and examine every single leaf and slug on the pathway, pick up most of the sticks we see and stop to jump in and out of puddles, I’m letting him walk to and from school with Florence (when we’re not late) as he enjoys it so much!


Florence loves scooting and is getting really good at it!

Jimmy BB 1

Little brothers just want to keep up!

And on to half term fun! I’ll be back next week but in the mean time please do follow me on Twitter @rocknrollerbaby.

6 thoughts on “Cool It Innocent!

  1. I have seen the adverts for the campaign and I did wonder what the point of the little hats was…so I completely agree with you. It makes much more sense to benefit as many people as possible and not to just to create a cute marketing gimmick. Here here!!

  2. I totally agree with you on this issue. What is the point of little woolly hats on bottles of juice? Blankets sewn together by volunteers and donated to the elderly makes sense on all levels; lack of waste, good publicity for Innocent and a little gift for the elderly who need a blanket much more than fruit juice needs a hat!

  3. That advert really makes me scratch my head and wonder who came up with such a stupid idea. I’m all for charity – but sadly brands make it obvious that they want a huge slice of publicity to go with any donation they make. Not the spirit of Christmas.

  4. Absolutely agree with you, it is a frivolous advertising campaign masquerading as charity. I would rather be accosted on the streets for a donation. It least that’s upfront!

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