The Tale of a Dog
"Hello everyone, thanks to the website owners, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you my story. I was born in the year of 1992 in fact I was actually created by a Mr Charlie Barsotti. He is an American from New York and was I believe contracted by WHSmith to create me for the purpose of selling a new brand of office supplies called Niceday. Although I still don't have a name people refer to me as the 'Niceday' pup. (Huh some pup - 20 years old in 2012 !)"
"There were some doubters if me and a brand as large as this would be accepted as such a venture hadn't been tried before outside of a manufacturer by a dealer. Some said 'They need their heads examined'. I was quite upset with this as 'we' hadn't been given a chance. However we were to prove them wrong"
"I featured heavily in the first run of the brand - WHSmith created four ranges within the brand, these were Everyday range (black & white packaging with my picture on the packaging), Select range (Highest quality of the four), Economy range (blue & white packaging for those who required a no frills, highly competitive product) and finally a range of environmentally friendly products (brown & white packaging with an awful bird on the packaging - not as good looking as me !)"
"The Niceday brand was rolled out to everyone within WHSmith Business Supplies. (The company at that time was made up of four companies bought previously by WHSmith - Pentagon, Cartwright Brice, H.J.Chapmans, Sandhurst and Satex".) I was of course the star attraction - everyone seemed to like a cuddly dog (?). A catalogue was produced showing all four ranges plus manufacturers brands - the Niceday band waggon was underway ! !".
For those of you who were unaware - there was a rose named after the brand. Although the name is 'Niceday' the rose was marketed as 'Nice Day' - if you look around garden centres in the UK you may well spot one for sale !
On 26 February 1996 the pup also appeared on one of three United Kingdom postage stamps featuring Barsotti's cartoons.
"During the development of the brand my mentors decided to give me my very own catalogue and called it a 'DOGALOGUE' (It did cause some concern from the blind dogs association who also had a Dogalogue but this situation was resolved amicabily).
Here is the front cover from that production. (You probably notice dear reader that a pesky cat had been introduced but I have to tell you that he only takes 'second place' to me). The brand grew from strength to strength and was soon to become a force within the office supplies industry. I knew something was about to change at the company when WHSmith changed their name to Niceday Limited - yes they were going to sell us, including dear old me !"
"Bon jour mon ami ! - Well in 1996 the inevitable happened - Niceday Limited, along with me, was sold to a French company called GUILBERT - who also had also purchased an English company called Ofrex four years earlier (1992). This was to cause widespread concern throughout the trade in the UK as the company now became the largest dealer by far. This meant better purchasing power and a highly competitive edge in the the market place. Guilbert were also the largest office supplies dealer in France so this now opened new avenues to compete in Europe for international tenders. The beginning of a new and exciting era in the office supplies market."
"Then in 1999, Guilbert merged Guilbert-Ofrex and Guilbert-Niceday to form a single company - we were a complete family now (well most of us were - even the blooming cat) known as Guilbert UK & Ireland. We now had branches all over the UK and Ireland which meant that I had to win new friends over - this took some time but I'm such a nice pup (clean, no need to walk me, no mess, cheap to run - no food, the perfect pet). The new friends from Ofrex took to me eventually and everyone was happy".
My story hasn't finished yet as I have more to tell you dear ex-employee but I have to go for the time being to gather more content for the rest of my story. (Actually I'm sitting here thinking about what to say next - so bear with me !
The Americans bought Guilbert along with me and the Niceday brand in 2003 - Oh dear what is going to happen to me ? (there has been a rumour circulating that I am to be put out to grass along with the Niceday brand, I await my fate with interest and fear)
Watch this space ! ! !