Press, radio and billboard adverts were launched on 13 April, on a theme of ‘waste’. The printed adverts are illustrated by Nick Price in the same style as the current Wombles books published by Bloomsbury: one image shows Tomsk pushing a wheelbarrow overflowing with banknotes, while another shows Tobermory vacuuming up banknotes.
In the radio adverts, The Wombling Song plays in the background with a voiceover by Bernard Cribbins. One advert says:
“Nothing bothers a Womble more than waste. Did you know you could be wasting £194 a year on the wrong phone tariff? With over 7 million options, how could you possibly know if you’re on the right one? The networks will only show you theirs. But Carphone Warehouse compares a range of networks, tariffs and phones to find the perfect combination for you. For independent advice, talk to Carphone Warehouse.”
Another advert says: “We’re on Wimbledon Common, and the Wombles have never seen so much waste. In fact, Britain’s wasting a staggering £173 million pounds a year, just by going over phone data limits. But with more unlimited data packages than anyone else, Carphone Warehouse can help. Their T-Mobile, Three and Talkmobile tariffs start at an incredible £12 a month. For independent advice, talk to Carphone Warehouse.”
Carphone Warehouse says that £5 billion is being wasted by mobile phone users each year as a result of people not being on the deal that’s best for them. On average, being on the wrong tariff costs each person £194 a year, according to independent research.
Andrew Harrison, CEO of Carphone Warehouse Europe, said: “When the UK is facing one of the hardest financial times in living memory, it seems crazy that £5 billion is being wasted on phone bills. At Carphone Warehouse, we want people to enjoy their smartphones without it costing them an arm and a leg. We’ll compare every network and phone combination and give independent advice on which deal is best.”
The public reaction has been mixed…
New Carphone Warehouse adverts in the Metro newspaper, featuring the Wombles! pic.twitter.com/oshdMh6u
— Tidy Bag – Wombles (@TidyBag) April 13, 2012
— Ian Downes (@StartLicensing) April 13, 2012
Just saw The Wombles being used on an advert for phones. Is nothing sacred?
— Lee (@cyanideandjd) April 15, 2012
What idiot sat in the boardroom and decided the best way to advertise The Carphone Warehouse on the radio was to use The Wombles?!
— Tristan Palmer (@tristan__palmer) April 15, 2012
Just heard the Wombles theme tune on the radio and was pleased to discover I knew all the words #oldgit
— Karen Ridley (@karenridley) April 17, 2012
Someone needs to tell Carphone warehouse that Wombles are no longer culturally relevant. Sad but true. #rubbishads
— David O'Hara (@David_A_OHara) April 17, 2012
Quite like the new #CarphoneWarehouse 48 sheet but are the Wombles still current? Don't see much kids TV
— Martin Thomas (@Martinmbl) April 17, 2012
Carphone Warehouse seems to have won the right to use 'The Wombles' in their ad campaigns. I thought Wombles cleaned up crap, not shilled it
— Graham P. (@DropTheServal) April 18, 2012
Love the fact were driving through wimbolden and the wombles theme tune came on the radio
— tom_CareFree (@t0mm_0) April 18, 2012
— Ben Conway (@BenjWFCConway) April 18, 2012
Remember you're a womble pic.twitter.com/YFOSBYti
— ?Kirst (KirstyJane) (K) (@PurpleHeels04) April 19, 2012
#Wombles now being used to promote Carphone Warehouse? Distressing having all my childhood characters appropriated by capitalism.
— John Marsden (@marsden_john) April 19, 2012
So. Vodafone has Yoda. Carphone Warehouse has… The Wombles…
— Almighty Faye™ (@Almighty_faye) April 19, 2012
Singing along to the car phone warehouse ad – I <3 the wombles :D #childhood
— Hiba ?? (@xhiiibax) April 19, 2012
— David Smith (@davadski) April 20, 2012
Vodafone with Star Wars. Carphone Warehouse with the Wombles. Can big corporates back away from my childhood, please?
— adventuresofboz (@adventuresofboz) April 20, 2012
So, Vodafone uses Yoda and Carphone Warehouse the Wombles. How appropriate. pic.twitter.com/1Zc8TlYw
— Kat Hahn (@daddycaniburnit) April 20, 2012
Ahhh just heard a Wombles advert on the radio I miss the Wombles #childhoodmemories
— Will (@Willpalmer1234) April 21, 2012
also, love the Carphone Warehouse advert with the Womble on it. It's going to make me smile every time I walk past it now!
— Sophie Cocker (@sophicocker) April 21, 2012
— Robin Pritchard (@robinpr71) April 21, 2012
— Adam Joseph Carolan (@ajcarolan) April 21, 2012
Saw a Womble on a Carphone Warehouse poster. Brings back #childhoodmemories :)
— Laura (@LauraBroadberry) April 21, 2012
@TidyBag I love the fact they are on at all..carphone erm not the best company for our furry friends but they are on ad so all good!
— mpbazz #IAmTommy (@mpbazz) April 21, 2012
— Sophie Isaac (@Sophieee2110) April 21, 2012
Glad to see carphone warehouse are throwing a bit of work the Wombles way, folk probably don't throw good rubbish out anymore
— Hagan (@JackieHagan) April 22, 2012
Come on cockneys throw out better stuff in your rubbish, the Wombles are skint!
— Hagan (@JackieHagan) April 22, 2012
I heard the wombles song and I just about crashed my car! TUNE
— lizbilo (@Liz_Bilo_Burgon) April 22, 2012
The Womble radio advert on capital really is the highlight of my day
— eve (@evecatterz) April 22, 2012
Just heard the new wombles themed Carphone Warehouse radio ad about waste. Absolutely love it!
— Callum Clark (@itscallumclark) April 23, 2012
Ahh the wombles theme song is in an advert on the radio, used to love that show! :D
— Tammy (@Tammy_Jayne) April 24, 2012
Is it just me or do you find it impossible to believe a Womble would do this? pic.twitter.com/DNpzy1Cm
— This Aint RocknRoll (@thisaintrock) April 24, 2012
'nothing bothers a womble more than waste' is definitely the best line in a radio advert I've ever heard.
— Chase & Status (@chaseandstatus) April 24, 2012
Carphone Warehouse & THE WOMBLES!!! Inspired marketing, guess what toy will be in demand….Uncle Bulgaria? Madame Cholet? Bungo? :-))
— DirUltimateWedding (@TinaReading) April 25, 2012
Had the Wombles theme tune stuck in my head all day because of a stupid radio advert. #drivingmyselfmad
— Gemma England (@gemraby) April 25, 2012
The wombles song gets it my head when I hear the advert
— Charl (@CharlBurl) April 26, 2012
Nooooo that flipping Wombles advert is back on the radio..it's taken a week to get the tune out of my head and now it's back!!!!
— Natalie Rose Asprey (@natalieasprey) April 27, 2012
Bernard Cribbins shilling for Carphone W'house while the Wombles theme plays. I just died a little inside. Thank God Oliver Posgate is gone.
— Ben Smith (@bearonatinybike) April 27, 2012
Can't believe we just made detour to. Carphobe Warehouse just to look for #Wombles. There weren't any.
— Real Peasant (@RealPeasant) April 29, 2012
— Simon Beale (@SimonBeale) April 29, 2012
According to Carphone Warehouse, £4.8 billion wasted by folk on incorrect phone tariffs, lines the pockets of Wombles #occupywimbledoncommon
— Wayne Williams (@WKWilliams) May 2, 2012
— SecretWomble (@SecretWomble) May 7, 2012
@OCRadio I currently have the Wombles theme going round my head thanks to the car phone warehouse adverts
— David Segal (@browser1983) May 10, 2012
The Carphone Warehouse advert with The Wombles is great :) <3
— Brenda from HR (@txmfrd) May 10, 2012
Carphone Warhouse using The Wombles in their adverts is marketing genius
— Lauren Beeslee (@JustBeeslee) May 10, 2012
I miss the wombles, the carphone warehouse advert gets me emosh
— Sophie Bray (@SophCantReachIt) May 10, 2012
Boris orders Wombles to embrace Capitalism. http://t.co/1wtftpf0
— Malcolm Trussler (@rollingworld1) May 11, 2012
absolutely mortified that the car phone warehouse is using the wombles theme to advertise their wares…
— Mark (@markrobbo) May 12, 2012
WHY are the wombles beening used in ads atm… Is there a come back I am not aware of…?
— Suzy Biggs (@SuzyBiggs) May 12, 2012
Hate the Womble advert on kiss! Sooooo jarring
— Jenni Edwards (@Jenniii321) May 13, 2012
The Wombles are dead to me now that they've sold out to Carphone Warehouse.
— Siân Mayhall-Purvis (@SianMP) May 13, 2012
I like it when The Wombles advert comes on the radio. I think back to seeing them at Glastonbury on the Sunday #RememberYoureAWomble
— Dom (@DomBevan) May 13, 2012
I've finally seen a Carphone Warehouse billboard – and it's got new artwork! With Bungo! pic.twitter.com/6mlftu8j
— Tidy Bag – Wombles (@TidyBag) May 14, 2012
Bit rainy, but it's Orinoco with a fishing rod… pic.twitter.com/mTwSyf6t
— Tidy Bag – Wombles (@TidyBag) May 15, 2012
Disappointed somehow to see the Wombles advertising the Carphone Warehouse.
— Jonathan Barnes (@jbarneswriter) May 17, 2012
— Helen Harrop (@HopeGraceFury) May 18, 2012
We feel sad that Wombles are advertising mobile phones. A part of my childhood just died. pic.twitter.com/0hJPt2z8
— Toby (@smithslog) May 19, 2012
— Ian McArdell (@IanMcArdell) May 19, 2012
Just heard the wombles on the radio I am so happy today #wonblesmakeitagoodday
— Timmy-To-You (@Tim_McNeil) May 21, 2012
Oh and the wombles being used for advertising is a crime
— James Mercer (@EvilJimm) May 21, 2012
— Tidy Bag – Wombles (@TidyBag) May 21, 2012
Have a fun little hoovering Womble on Yahoo today for Carphone Warehouse: http://t.co/GLTp06WV
— Ali (@Alilouisa) May 22, 2012
A Carphone Warehouse billboard features the Wombles and the small print "(c) 2012 Wombles LTD". Troublingly un-Womble if you ask me.
— Chris Raettig (@raettig) May 22, 2012
How disappointing that the wombles are doing ads for Carphone Warehouse.
— Liz Jarvis (@LizJarvisUK) May 22, 2012
i always sing along to that advert that has the wombles song in the background
— lara hope gibson (@_larahope) May 23, 2012
The womble advert makes me so happy.
— Amy Howard (@Amy_Green_18) May 26, 2012
Oh my god that advert with the wombles song is so annoying
— Risha Radia (@risharadia) May 26, 2012
Saw advert in town stating I may be paying too much for phone service. It illustrated this w/a pic of two Wombles (I don't remember which)
— Canonisation (@Canonisation) May 28, 2012
What do Wombles know about phone bills? They don't even have phones! (As far as I know)
— Canonisation (@Canonisation) May 28, 2012