Fiona Scott
4 min readMar 9

Week Ten of the UK’s BBC tv series The Apprentice landed with the six remaining candidates being taken to Battersea Cats & Dogs Home and tasked with creating a new dog food complete with branding — ready to pitch to two potential buyers the next day.

Now with two teams of three, the first task was to choose a project manager. Victoria and Marnie went head to head — Victoria because she’s got a dog and Marnie, well, because she’s Marnie and always thinks she knows best. Rochelle backed Victoria and also happily accepted the job of crafting a gourmet dog dish. It turned out Rochelle is quite the cook and has been feeding the other candidates the last few weeks. Her vision was to create a dog food fit for humans.

On the other team, Megan took the lead and, also opted to put herself in the kitchen where she was weighing up which insects to include in her dog dish. While Rochelle went for lamb tagine, Megan went overboard on the potatoes and came up with a kind of beige mush, which no one wanted to put anywhere near their mouth.

For both teams, the marketing and branding went astray. Megan’s team struggled with the vague brief — mention the insects but not too much, mention sustainability but not too much about insects, focus on health and nutrition. With a vague brief, and the constant bickering between Dani and Simba, the brand around Pro Paw was limp to say the least.

Dani ramped up the pouting this week, she didn’t shut up, and Simba barely got a word in edgeways. The worst moment? He asked if he could direct the photography for a poster. Dani agreed and shut her mouth for all of ten seconds before she felt compelled to interfere. Oh dear.

Victoria and Marnie went for Chef Barking, with a dog with a chef’s hat and a tag line about ‘designed by dogs, approved by you’ — a cheeky play on words or a lie? The pouch looked okay, the tagline didn’t work, the product was promising. And unlike Simba, when Marnie began to take over and start spouting about her grand ideas or rather pontificate without achieving anything, finally Victoria stood her ground and shut her up. Boom.

Consumer doggy research was interesting. Whatever dog owners thought of the packaging, the dogs ruled the roost here and they all ate the lamb tagine and not one touched…

Fiona Scott

Fiona has been a UK journalist for more than 30 years as well as being a freelance tv producer director. She’s also had her own media consultancy since 2008.