Despite a loss, Lucinda managed to impress some people on her team as project manager in The Apprentice UK Series 4 Episode 5. Those most unimpressed were given the blame for losing the task, and Lindi was fired. Claire, meanwhile, bounced back from being thrown out of Sir Alan’s boardroom and led her team to victory.
The teams will be entering the greeting card business. Sir Alan appoints Michael as project manager and moves him over to Alpha. Kevin is appointed team leader of Renaissance. A good chance to get to know two of the more under the radar players thus far.
Michael’s idea is to have greeting cards for plastic surgery. Where do we start with what’s wrong with that concept?
Sara wants to again go with what she’s familiar with, rather than what the general public will be interested in buying. She eventually comes up with a pets idea, which has potential, but now Jenny’s got her sights set on her. Alex is just sitting in the middle letting them have their cat fight.
When they arrive at the card shop, the idea of supporting the environment comes up as something that they don’t sell yet. That’s either because it’s really stupid, or just nobody has tapped into it yet. Jenny really pushes for the environmental idea, and that’s what they decide to go with.
Claire believes Kevin is a pitbull terrier. He bites quite easily, is quite arrogant, too serious, and has a Napoleon complex.
Raef comes up with an idea of a singles’ day, sort of an un-Valentine’s card.
Because he does pitches over the phone, Michael doesn’t want to make the presentation to an audience. Everybody else is up for it. He chooses Raef to make the presentation.
Kevin asks his team for their input as to whether they’re confident about their ability to do the pitch. He gets suggestions of Claire and Jenny… and ignores them, deciding he’ll do it himself instead.
The irony of using a card made out of paper to preach about the environment isn’t lost on Margaret.
Helene still hates Lucinda. Not that she likes anybody else either.
Michael doesn’t know whether the word singles has an apostrophe in it. So he starts making some calls. He tries some editors. Then he tries the British Library. Ever heard of Google? The person he finally gets an answer from apparently has, deciding that there is no apostrophe in the word. So then they talk to someone else and get a different answer. Granted, I don’t know how thrilled he’d be that NSD stands for Nuclear Safety Directorate, in addition to this new National Singles’ Day acronym. After three and a half hours, Michael finally makes the call to put an apostrophe after the s.
Kevin’s team is concerned about him giving the pitch because he’s too boring. When they arrive to check out the work he’s been doing for the past 6 hours, he tells them to take a look, but once again lets them know their opinion doesn’t really matter. Having spent all that time on the card, Kevin hasn’t started his pitch. Not that he could have because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about anyway. He wants his space. They hope he doesn’t go nuts. Kevin eventually realizes he’s not qualified to make this pitch, and he asks Claire if she can do it, though Claire suggests Jenny. Jenny’s not interested because Kevin dragged his feet all day. He agrees to do it.
The first stop for Alpha is Clinton Cards, Britain’s biggest card chain. Raef will pitch National Singles’ Day, scheduled for February 13. The buyer is unimpressed with the date selection, as at that time, Valentine’s Day is taking up 40% of their stores.
Next up is #2 in the greeting card business, supermarket Tesco. Tesco also doesn’t like the date, or for that matter anything about the concept.
With that in mind, Michael decides to remove the date from the pitch.
Lastly, they will pitch to the Celebrations Group. One of the questions asked is: do you have a date in mind? Raef can’t backpedal out of this one, but Lee is able to give a somewhat reasonable answer.
It’s Kevin’s turn to pitch the environmental concept. Clinton’s doesn’t get what the motivation is. Jenny points out that she’s buying less cards because of the environmental impact the paper has. Is that supposed to help?
Celebrations also doesn’t understand the idea of buying paper cards to save the environment.
Claire gives Kevin some advice to help him seem less angry and hostile.
Their last chance is Tesco. It doesn’t appear that Tesco is opposed to the idea.
The team is pleased with Michael’s leadership. Nick is also pleased… but not thrilled with the four hour long debate over the apostrophe. Michael corrects him and says it was more like three hours.
Tesco’s bought 6,000 cards from Renaissance but only 1,500 from Alpha. Clinton’s didn’t buy from Renaissance but did buy 1,500 from Alpha. Celebrations didn’t buy anything from Renaissance, but they bought 19,500 from Alpha. Alpha wins quite easily. Both sides got their best results from pitches that were more well thought out, but it took each of them two of the three tries to figure it out. Even with the win, Sir Alan isn’t happy with Michael’s “outburst” of celebration, and Margaret looks shocked. Despite the win, Michael seems to have sunk himself in this boardroom.
Clinton Cards found Kevin’s pitch dreadful and that he was cocky and preaching.
Jenny blames the alleged lack of ideas from others for causing her to come up with the lame idea she did come up with. This leads to an argument with Sara, who was coming up with a lot better ideas than what Jenny shoved down Kevin’s throat.
Claire believes Sara should be fired. Kevin also sides against Sara. He will be bringing back Sara and Claire. Jenny, who had the bad idea to begin with and made the stupid comment at Clinton’s about how she doesn’t buy as many cards any more because of her environmental conscience, is allowed to escape.
Kevin brought Claire back because she didn’t recognize that the product wasn’t good for the marketplace. Sir Alan lets him know he would have understood more if he brought Jenny back.
Kevin blames the bad idea, not the pitch. Somehow that means that Sara should be fired. He defends Jenny for working very hard and being very creative to come up with the idea that cost them the task. Sir Alan suggests Jenny railroaded Kevin into the theme.
He may have had a prayer if he brought Jenny back, but with the two he decided to bring back, resistance was futile, and Kevin has been fired.
The fireworks aren’t done there, though. When the surviving contestants return to the loft, much arguing ensues over the decision.