Watch out Kev, there’s a new carpet mascot in town: Godfrey Hirst sends Dai Henwood on its own regional tour

As well as being popular with the viewers, the 7 Days gang are also popular in commercial circles, with Paul Ego voicing ads for Pak ‘n Save, Guy Williams fronting campaigns for All Good and HPA, Ben Hurley MCing cricket games and Dai Henwood voicing Mitre 10 ads, spruiking fires and taking the Eddie Murphy approach for Toyota. Now Godfrey Hirst, Australasia’s biggest carpet manufacturer, has employed Henwood’s services and taken viewers on a trip around the country on a scooter to announce its first nationwide flooring sale

Godfrey Hirst has yet to return our call asking for information about the agency and production company involved (and why you can say deep south but not deep north). 

Carpet manufacturer and retailer Carpet Mill signed up ex Fair Go presenter Kevin Milne as its mascot around three years ago and it has also recently sent him on a domestic journey as part of its Tiki Tour campaign.  

Godfrey Hirst’s last campaign followed in the footsteps of the SmartStrand rhino experiment by embracing some University of Otago stereotypes and showing off the qualities of its ‘student proof carpet’. 

18 male students (“They don’t care and they don’t think. Finally a carpet that doesn’t need them to!”) lived in a flat during Orientation Week, with the new carpet subjected to a 326 person party, the creation of an indoor beach, plenty of spillage and various other violations (extra kudos for the shot of man getting hit in groin with ball). 

Godfrey Hirst bought failed local carpet company Feltex in 2006 and last year it announced a 3.5 percent increase in New Zealand carpet sales to $160 million, although, as BusinessDesk reported, profit dropped to $5.4 million from $10.8 million a year earlier, “when it recorded a gain of $6.5 million on the purchase of Summit Wool Spinners, and a gain of about $3 million from the sale of property in Christchurch”. 

Recently the Court of Appeal allowed its appeal and confirmed that a High Court judgement it obtained in July 2013 against Cavalier Bremworth over misleading warranties did not go far enough to protect consumer interests.

“We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has agreed that the High Court underestimated the extent to which Cavalier’s conduct was likely to mislead consumers,” says Godfrey Hirst general manager, Tania Pauling. “The Court has found that the headline statements in Cavalier Bremworth’s advertising gave consumers a false impression of the value of these warranties, given the large number of conditions and exclusions. We expect that others in the industry will now clean up their act, and stop advertising warranties that promise the earth but are gutted by their fine print. It is wrong to advertise a ‘soil resistance’ warranty that excludes mud, or a ‘stain resistance’ warranty that excludes almost anything that might stain a carpet. We also believe that this clear decision from the Court of Appeal will be of real value to New Zealand consumers in other retail segments in New Zealand where headline warranties are offered which do not deliver in any meaningful or substantive manner.” 

Pauling also thanked the Commerce Commission, which intervened in the appeal because of its concerns over the use of misleading headline advertising, particularly in online advertising and selling.

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