Safestyle is best recognised for its distinctive adverts starring the “Safestyle Windows Man”.
It is a relatively young double-glazing firm that was first established on the 22nd of December in 1992 when it began with £2,000 in capital. The company grew and by 1996 had opened up a new division under the name “Windowstyle”, dedicated to manufacturing double-glazed PVCu windows and doors from a facility in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Since 1996 Safestyle has invested more than £6.5 million onto the Windowstyle division of the business, including £2.5 million spent on glass toughening and procession machinery. Safestyle’s facility is based on an 18 acre site which employs over 600 production specialists. The factory runs for 24 hours a day for 6 days a week, producing over 5,500 frames and 13,500 double-glazed sealed units every week.
The company continued to expand, and by 2005 had installed over £100 million replacement windows and doors and had over 40 branches in various locations around the UK, run from a head office in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
Safestyle refuses to use recycled or reground uPVC to make its window frames, but does recycle the windows and doors it replaces and ensures that all of its own products are recyclable.
It has worked to raise awareness of fire safety issues, and to that end in the past Safestyle has established partnerships with the Home Office fire safety campaign as well as the West Yorkshire Fire Service. They have also sponsored a number of sports teams, including the Castleford Tigers Rugby League team and the Leeds United football club, who they created a special TV ad for with ex-Leeds chairman Ken Bates.
The company has received a great deal of coverage, both good and bad.
The glazing firm has been nominated for the national G Awards in 2005, which are open to the entire glass, glazing and fenestration industry. Safestyle won the award for Best Promotional Campaign of the Year in 2005, followed by the Best Customer Care award in 2006. That same year Safestyle was endorsed by the Government-backed Trustmark scheme. The Trustmark scheme set out to endorse companies that showed a proven ability to perform home improvements inside and outside of houses to a high standard of customer care and workmanship. The company continued to win awards in 2007, when it was awarded the G07 Installer of the Year Award and the Health and Safety Initiative Award.
However, that same year the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint against Safestyle for a television advert they broadcast in September 2006. The ASA stayed that the advert had been misleading in its description of the “Buy now, pay next year” credit terms. Safestyle was warned never to show the advert again. In 2008 the company received came under fire again, this time from Which?, who highlighted some of the company’s aggressive sales tactics and misleading claims, accusations that Safestyle partially denied.
The Safestyle brand is possibly best known for its used of Jeff Brown the “Safestyle window man” who appears in many of their adverts. The character first appeared in 1999, where he shouted at the audience about Safetyle’s buy one get one free offers. Over 500 TV and radio advertisements have been produced as of 2010, many of them featuring Jeff Brown, former Coronation Street actor Ken Morley, Cannon and Ball and ex-Bucks Fizz member Cheryl Baker.
Jeff Brown runs his own blog on the Safestyle Window Man character, which has included make-your-own-TV-advert competitions, links to the latest adverts and blogs on other topics ranging from Talk Like a Pirate Day to the Higgs Boson particle.