Costa beach placard upset at Sidmouth

Accept Costa is here to stay says Sidmouth’s franchisee

SIDMOUTH’S Costa Coffee franchise has rebuffed negative comments about its advertising strategies and defended its presence in the town.

Placard advertising for the coffee shop has been slated in anonymous posts on the Sidmouth Herald website.

A contributor to the forum, under the name Seadog, asked: “Have local business people no shame?”

“I saw a member of staff from Costa’s on the seafront, standing opposite the Bedford Lawn car park with a large placard advertising the wares of Costa’s with a large arrow pointing in the direction of town.

“Surely this is just not on in this lovely Regency seaside town, the jewel in the crown of East Devon. Whatever next?”

Steve C, another forum user, added: “This must be the death knell for our beautiful seafront if this is allowed to happen. Placard advertising by Costa and Charmouth Market, this is just too much.”

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James Witty, managing director of Jurassic Coast Coffee, allayed concerns that Costa placards would be a permanent fixture in Sidmouth.

He said: “The sign is a form of advertising medium which is used by Costa and therefore our franchise. It is a mobile temporary sign carried by a member of staff and therefore does not need planning or advertising consent.

“This form of advertising is only conducted on warm sunny days, when everyone is on the beach, to advertise our brand. The sign is seldom used and therefore should not be a major concern for residents.

“At least our business is in the town, unlike the people advertising the Charmouth Market that now appear every weekend in Sidmouth, with their sign, for up to eight hours a day.”

Mr Witty added: “I think it would be far better for everyone if the minority could now cease and desist their negative comments about Costa and finally realise that we are here to stay and the majority of residents and visitors are very happy to frequent our warm and friendly establishment.”