In Burgundy coloured news
The Telegraph has been hard at work this month, convincing us that the funeral situation in the UK really is dire.
On the 10th June, we heard about a grieving gentlemen in New Milton, Hants, who is digging a grave in his back garden to bury his 101 year old mother, unwilling to pay ‘the outrageous cost of a funeral’. According to the article, the resourceful John Wright is even considering purchasing a large fridge to avoid the cost of keeping his mother in the local mortuary.
The article claims that a local funeral director (as yet unnamed) quoted £2500 just to take Mr Wright’s mother’s body to the church in a hearse.
Anyone concerned about this sorry state of affairs and wondering whether they’ll also need to find the space for a large fridge in their garage, need not have worried. The Telegraph had it all in hand.
On the 13th June, another article appeared in The Telegraph, this time comparing funeral costs and an analysis of available life insurance policies and funeral plans, suggesting that nothing on the market truly covers the cost of a funeral.
Both articles ended with an endorsement for The Telegraph’s own funeral plan, in partnership with the burgundy coloured funeral group, Dignity PLC. As well as a generous £50 discount for all Telegraph readers and a link to a glossy sales website with further hysteria about the cost of funerals and how it’s only going to get worse. Much much worse.
How about an unbiased report into funeral costs, not funded by anyone with a financial interest in selling funeral plans? Or non-hysterical media coverage of the cost of a funeral with no sales agenda? Or a realistic review of the many viable affordable alternatives that aren’t package deals out there?
Anyone out there? Anywhere?
In lilac coloured news
Following the sale of its five crematoria to our burgundy coloured acquaintances Dignity Plc for £43m, the lilac coloured Co-Op freed up lots of cash to spend on a comprehensive rebrand of its businesses, also promising to invest in improving funeral parlours under its Funeralcare brand.
The group has already returned to its classic clover-leaf logo, which first appeared in the late 1960s. The aim was to be reassuringly retro, harping back to the good old days of shops, produce and dividend stamps, before the days of controversial CEOs with massive pay packages sullied the Co-Op name.
As part of the rebrand, the shade of lilac that characterised Co-Op’s British High Street funeral chain, Funeralcare, is no more, replaced by a calmly reassuring turquoise. Personally I was hoping for a garish shade of parakeet green, not dissimilar to the Queen’s birthday outfit.
The updated Funeralcare website is already live and rumour has it that the first funeral home to be refurbished with the new branding has been completed in Scotland. We don’t yet know whether funeral directors will be issued with turquoise cravats, but we’d very much like to find out.
Whether the re-brand is anything other than a lick of paint and a wardrobe change remains to be seen. In the meantime, turquoise is the new lilac is the new black.