Robertson's


Robertson's

Robertson's is a UK brand of marmalades and jams, that was owned by RHM until that company's takeover by Premier Foods in March 2007. It produces the "Golden Shred" marmalade.

The company was founded in 1864. Marmalade was originally produced in the back of the shop, but soon a factory was set up to meet increased demand, and jam and mincemeat were added to the range.

In 1928 Robertson’s started the Golly brooch collector scheme which became the longest running collector scheme in history, only finishing in 2001 when Golly was replaced by Roald Dahl characters. This has since been withdrawn following the takeover.

Robertson’s has had a Royal Warrant since 1933.

Advertising - Golly merchandise

Robertson's introduced the Golly in the early 20th century.

It was in America, just before the first world war, that John Robertson (son of James Robertson) first saw the Golly doll. Whilst on a visit to the backwoods of North America he noticed many young children playing with little black rag dolls with white eyes, made from their mothers' discarded black skirts and white blouses.

John Robertson was so intrigued by the popularity of the "Golly" (the name being the children's interpretation of Dolly) that he thought it would make an ideal mascot and trade mark for the Robertson's range of products. The idea of Golly trade mark was accepted by the Company and the Golly was first shown on Robertson literature in 1910, on items such as labels and price lists. Its appeal became so great that the enamel Golly badges were introduced which are still a huge success today. The first badge to be produced was the Golly Golfer in 1928.

In 1939 the scheme was discontinued as the metal was needed for the war effort, but by 1946 the Golly was back again. The Golly pendant with chain was introduced by popular demand in 1956 and soon after, the design of all Gollies changed from the old Golly with "pop eyes" to the present day Golly with eyes looking to the left. The words "Golden Shred" were removed from his waistcoat, his legs straightened and smile broadened. At about the same time a range of 11 Footballer and 12 Musician Golly figures were produced in pottery, standing about 2.5" high. These were eventually discontinued however.

Several generations have affectionate childhood memories of saving Gollies from the back of Robertson's Jams and Marmalades and sending away for enamel Golly badges.

Over 20 million Gollies have been sent out and many have become highly valued collectors' items.

Discontinuation of Golly Merchandise

Robertson's officially 'retired' Golly in 2002. The company had found that Golly was, on the whole, no longer popular with the children of families, although the scheme was still successful with adult collectors.

Robertson's always insisted that they did not retire the Golly because of political pressure (some people considered the Golly to be racist), but simply for commercial reasons: Ginny Knox, brand director at Robertson's said, "We are retiring Golly because we found families with kids no longer necessarily knew about him. We are not bowing to political correctness, but like with any great brand we have to move with the times." [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0DQA/is_2001_August_30/ai_78476081 "'Robertson's Golly retires" "Eurofood" 30 August 2001] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.gollycorner.co.uk Gollycorner, the history of the Robertson's Golly]
* [http://www.golliwogg.co.uk/robertsons.htm "Golliwogg.co.uk"] An independent guide to Golliwogs - "Golliwogs & Robertson's Jam"


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