BANKER’S DRAUGHTS

A chill wind continues to blow through the disgraced banking sector, the latest manifestation being the punishment of grubby Barclays, headed by very well paid Bob Diamond, for exploiting a legal tax loophole to avoid paying millions in corporation tax. The loopholes are being closed by HMRC, themselves vilified and mistrusted by the public for the curious sweetheart tax deals they made with Goldman Sachs and Vodafone.

This provides yet another example of where a large company would have done rather better to have listened to their PR people, rather than their lawyers and accountants. And one from a sector that has demonstrably lost its moral compass.

RUPERT BARED

The media Murdochs must be as popular as bankers. This is going by the elation that has greeted a pub landlady winning the legal right to bypass Murdoch’s Sky high prices for receiving Premier League football matches at £8,400 a year, by using a cheap Greek decoder for £800 a year.

Initially Karen Murphy of the Red, White and Blue pub in Portsmouth was convicted of illegally using a foreign decoder and ordered by our High Court to pay almost £8,000 in fines and costs. However the European Court of Justice overturned the conviction in October 2011, ruling that to have a system that excluded competition was contrary to EU law.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not, this important feel-good story about the little guys beating the big ones failed to gain any prominence in Rupert’s The Times or The Sun, so neither newspaper found space to mention that the name of the Greek station used was Nova.

AVON LIE TO SELL

Claims by cosmetics firm Avon that they do not test their products on animals have been exposed as lies by animal welfare group Uncaged.

The false claims were made by Avon to better market its products. It stated on its UK website “Avon do not test products or ingredients on animals, nor do we request others to do so on our behalf” However on its global website it makes it clear that it still carries out toxicity testing of new cosmetic chemicals on animals because this allows it to innovate and maximise its profits, a very different story to the one its UK customers are being told.

FUNDING THE BONUS PAYMENTS?

An ad from the Royal Bank of Scotland which claimed it would never close a branch if it was the last one in town has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for being misleading.

The adjudication was made after the ASA was told about an RBS bank, the Natwest in Farsley, Yorks, which was the last bank there and which was recently closed by RBS to save money.

It has been estimated that 1500 high street bank branches will close in the next six years

LET THEM WAIT

Call centres beloved of some marketeers are being targeted by a new phone app that only puts its users through to the call dialled when someone at the other end answers.

This aspect, claim the inventors of WeQ4U saves around 30 pence per minute and around 45 hours a year waiting on phones. The firm is currently drawing up a blacklist of companies with the longest waiting times for their call centres.

DO YOU KEN, KEN?

Another moral compass is needed, it seems, for former London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Our Ken, who has described tax avoiders as “rich bastards” who “don’t get it” apparently had fees for his media work while he was mayor paid to his private company, Silverta Ltd, for the purposes of, er, tax avoidance. It is ,of course, something of a PR disaster when someone is hoisted with their own petard.

Claims that Silverta is short for a silver-tongued unmentionable, are, like Mr Livingstone perhaps, not to be trusted………..

RUFF IDEA

News that Barkers, makers of dog food has screened a TV ad with a high frequency sound that only canines can hear has been met with some scepticism. After all if humans can’t hear it how can anyone know it has gone out, unless they have dog that barked at the screen at the appropriate moment, of course. Or was it just a cunning stunt to generate some publicity?

Meanwhile a rumour that the secret sound was a message to dogs to bite their owners if they didn’t buy them Barkers should, in our view, be treated as just silly.

SOFA KING INTELLECTUAL

Meanwhile an ad by furniture firm Sofa King which stated that its prices were “Sofa King Low” has been banned by the ASA for being offensive.

The ad appeared in the Northampton Herald and Post, who told the ASA that they had received two complaints about the slogan, and that Sofa King used it on their shop front and on their vehicles. Sofa King stated that they had been delighting their target market with it for nine years.

Marketing Matters Mar/Apr 2012 ISSUE 25

BANKER’S DRAUGHTS
A chill wind continues to blow through the disgraced banking sector, the latest manifestation being the punishment of grubby Barclays, headed by very well paid….

RUPERT BARED
The media Murdochs must be as popular as bankers. This is going by the elation that has greeted a pub landlady winning the legal right to bypass Murdoch’s Sky high….

AVON LIE TO SELL
Claims by cosmetics firm Avon that they do not test their products on animals have been exposed as lies by animal welfare group Uncaged….

FUNDING THE BONUS PAYMENTS?
An ad from the Royal Bank of Scotland which claimed it would never close a branch if it was the last one in town has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority….

LET THEM WAIT
Call centres beloved of some marketeers are being targeted by a new phone app that only puts its users through to the call dialled when someone at the other end….

BENT TWITS
The Advertising Standards Authority is probing a stunt by Mars to promote its Snickers bar on Twitter. Reportedly Mars paid Rio Ferdinand, Ian Botham, Katie Price and….

DO YOU KEN, KEN?
Another moral compass is needed, it seems, for former London mayor Ken Livingstone. Our Ken, who has described tax avoiders as “rich bastards” who “don’t get it”….

RUFF IDEA
News that Barkers, makers of dog food has screened a TV ad with a high frequency sound that only canines can hear has been met with some scepticism. After all….

SOFA KING INTELLECTUAL
Meanwhile an ad by furniture firm Sofa King which stated that its prices were “Sofa King Low” has been banned by the ASA for being offensive….