CHEAP LUNCH

Arguably proving that corporate hospitality works Private Eye and others have revealed that HM Revenue and Customs boss, Dave Hartnett, dined rather well with top types at Vodafone and Goldman Sachs, prior to letting them off billions in disputed taxes.

Coincidentally Hartnett has recently resigned, following criticism of his charitable acts to very rich companies, and the 107 breakfasts, lunches and dinners he has enjoyed over the last three years.

WRONG TRACK

News that train fares are to rise again this year, at more than the rate of inflation, has coincided with the revelation that fares in the UK are up to ten times more than those in, for example, Italy, and three and a half times those in France.

The high costs have forced a re-think by many on the costs of trips, and the viability of alternative transport to trains. A recent survey by One Poll revealed that 66% of people are put off taking short breaks in the UK by train fares. Continue reading

SIR DAVE AND THE BBC FAKE IT

Sad to note that trusted and respected presenter Sir David Attenborough has blotted his integrity copybook, again, as has the BBC.

Apparently footage of polar bear cubs was shot in a Dutch zoo for the BBC’s much-admired Frozen Planet documentary, but presented by Attenborough as happening in the Arctic wilderness. And a caterpillar, supposedly freezing under a rock in the wild, was filmed in a box. Continue reading

EAT YOUR MEAT

The French government has decreed that all schoolchildren have to eat meat if they want to have a school lunch, and bringing a packed lunch as a vegetarian alternative has also been banned.

The measures have been brought in to protect French agriculture and maintain the demand for meat, and its price. They are to be extended to kindergartens, colleges, prisons, hospitals and old people’s homes.

In the UK vegetarians such as Sir Paul McCartney have condemned the moves as a violation of human rights.

WHAT’S YOUR POISON?

Fake vodka containing anti-freeze ingredients that can cause blindness has been seized by trading standards officers in the run-up to Christmas.

Brands being faked and sold in small shops and off-licences for as little as £6 a bottle include Glen’s, Smirnoff, Arctic Ice, Red Admiral and Spar own-brand Imperial. One shopkeeper in Surrey was fined £16,000 for selling fake Glen’s which contained 235 times the legal limit of methanol, an ingredient in anti-freeze.

Poorly printed labels with spelling errors and drink that smells of nail varnish are some signs to look out for.

MORE SUPERMARKET CONS

Other cons rely on customer misconceptions, according to a recent Panorama TV documentary, The Truth About Supermarkets.

  • Loose is always cheaper. In Morrisons some apples were £2.99 a kilo loose, £1.87 a kilo in a pack. However in ASDA loose was cheaper on red onions – 86p a kilo loose, £2.85 a kilo in a net.
  • Buy more for less. In Sainsbury’s Cornish Pasties were £1.12 each, or at three for £5, rather more. This is a variation on the “bigger pack – better value” myth.

In fairness some special offers on regular sizes deeply undercut prices on larger sizes. ASDA are currently offering 500 gm jars of Dolmio sauce for £1, or £2 per kilo, alongside 750 gm Family Size jars for £2.98, or almost double the price at £3.96 a kilo.

FOODIE TREATS

News that Nigella Lawson declared her love for salted caramel by having it poured over her head and photographing the creepy result for the front cover of a magazine she was guest – editing has no doubt got marketeers thinking of the Next Big Thing in this vein.

Some early possibilities are the TV cook covered in raw eggs, semolina, teriyaki sauce, strawberry jam and yoghurt, or bathing in a nice liver, kidney and bacon casserole. And other TV types could get in on the act, such as Gordon Ramsay immersed in very hot and sour soup, baked beans or English mustard.

Watch this space……….

Marketing Matters Jan/Feb 2012 ISSUE 24

CHEAP LUNCH
Arguably proving that corporate hospitality works Private Eye and others have revealed that HM Revenue and Customs boss, Dave Hartnett, dined rather well with top types….

WRONG TRACK
News that train fares are to rise again this year, at more than the rate of inflation, has coincided with the revelation that fares in the UK are up to ten times more than those….

SIR DAVE AND THE BBC FAKE IT
Sad to note that trusted and respected presenter Sir David Attenborough has blotted his integrity copybook, again, as has the BBC….

EAT YOUR MEAT
The French government has decreed that all schoolchildren have to eat meat if they want to have a school lunch, and bringing a packed lunch as a vegetarian….

WHAT’S YOUR POISON?
Fake vodka containing anti-freeze ingredients that can cause blindness has been seized by trading standards officers in the run-up to Christmas….

TESCO PULL IT OFF
Tesco marketing tactics seem to be aimed at customers who really do believe everything they read….

MORE SUPERMARKET CONS
Other cons rely on customer misconceptions, according to a recent Panorama TV documentary, The Truth About Supermarkets….

FOODIE TREATS
News that Nigella Lawson declared her love for salted caramel by having it poured over her head and photographing the creepy result for the front cover of a magazine she….