WE ARE WATCHING YOU

State-spying has now become a reality with news that 653 public bodies will be able to snoop on every telephone call, text message, email and website visit made by private citizens.

The excuse given by the government is that of combating terrorism, despite the dismal record of some councils whose employees have used anti-terrorism laws to combat dog-fouling and bin over-filling, and cannot be trusted with the new powers.

BIGGER FINES FOR SILENT CALLERS

Companies that telemarket with automatic dialling equipment and generate large volumes of silent calls – those where the equipment hangs up on the answering customer if no salesperson is available to take the call – could be fined up to £2million for their customer-unfriendly ignorance.

The new fine level, a marked increase on the maximum £50,000 levied by telecoms watchdog Ofcom has been called for by the Consumer Minister, Kevin Brennan, who has stated that the offending calls are an inconvenient nuisance to victims and frightening for the elderly.

Companies previously censured by Ofcom for silent calls have been Barclays, Abbey, Complete Credit Management, Carphone Warehouse, Toucan and Space Kitchens.

ATTACK ON FAKE JOURNALISM

A new hard-hitting documentary, Starsuckers, shows how easy it is to get fake celebrity stories published in our willing tabloids.

The film, which should be required viewing for all in marketing and PR, features secretly shot footage of self-confessed PR liar Max Clifford bragging about how he keeps negative stories about his clients out of the press. Judging by a presentation Clifford gave to young PR types a few years back this involves giving the tabloids alternative stories about people not represented by him, something he calls “collateral”. Continue reading

ATTACK ON FAKE PHOTOS

Fake photographs, airbrushed to enhance the shape of models continue to come under attack for the lack of honesty in their use, and potential danger to health.

Following similar moves in France a group of UK academics, doctors and psychologists wants all advertisers to be forced to state when images have been artificially enhanced, to protect against body dissatisfaction leading to eating disorders. Continue reading

TALKING THE TALK

Some customer TLC is needed at TalkTalk, strapline “We’re full of bright ideas”

One of these, we hear, is to give valued customers free calls to 0870/0845 premium rate numbers but to fail to make it clear that customers have to opt in to have the calls free, as some signed up to TalkTalk have discovered, too late, when the invoice has come in.

Whilst profitable for TalkTalk this is not one of the marketing department’s brightest ideas, we’d say.

NOT JUST ANY OVERPRICED FOOD…

The current ads from M&S comparing their prices for their Wise Buys budget range with those for Waitrose Essentials are causing some mirth amongst those who really know a bargain.

Such types know that Waitrose is the most expensive supermarket we have, and that one recent comparison of M&S and Waitrose budget baked beans, both at 49pence for a 420g tin was somewhat undermined by the deal running at Asda where 4 x 415g tins of the Heinz variety were walking out of the store for £1, or 25pence a tin.

So much for the M&S claim to be “great value for money”

SECRETS OF HAPPINESS?

The Finns are the happiest people on earth.

This is the conclusion of a recent survey of 104 countries measuring the general well-being, as well as the wealth of various nations and published by the Legatum Institute in London. The top ten, in descending order were Finland Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Canada, Holland, USA and New Zealand. Britain was 12th, and ahead of Germany in 14th place and France in 17th place. Continue reading

Marketing Matters November2009 ISSUE 9

WE ARE WATCHING YOU
State-spying has now become a reality with news that 653 public bodies will be able to snoop on every telephone call, text message, email and website visit made by….

CLEANING UP ONLINE
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is to police advertising on UK websites from late next year, after some funding from Google….

BIGGER FINES FOR SILENT CALLERS
Companies that telemarket with automatic dialling equipment and generate large volumes of silent calls – those where the equipment hangs up on the answering….

ATTACK ON FAKE JOURNALISM
A new hard-hitting documentary, Starsuckers, shows how easy it is to get fake celebrity stories published in our willing tabloids….

ATTACK ON FAKE PHOTOS
Fake photographs, airbrushed to enhance the shape of models continue to come under attack for the lack of honesty in their use, and potential danger to health….

TALKING THE TALK
Some customer TLC is needed at TalkTalk, strapline “We’re full of bright ideas”….

NOT JUST ANY OVERPRICED FOOD…
The current ads from M&S comparing their prices for their Wise Buys budget range with those for Waitrose Essentials are causing some mirth amongst those who really….

SECRETS OF HAPPINESS?
The Finns are the happiest people on earth….