THE POWER OF BAD PR

Negative press can be a power for good, it seems.

Olympic sponsors Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, EDF, Omega, GE, Adidas, BMW, Atos and P&G were all stung by the revelations that they were benefitting from a grubby deal with our customs and excise enforcers, courtesy of the sponsor’s good friends Lord Coe and Co, that they would be able to enjoy some lucrative tax avoidance on their donations, this paid for by the British tax-payer.

Shortly after an article, “The Great Olympic Tax Swindle” appeared in the July/August issue of Ethical Consumer magazine, and the publication organised an online petition signed by 225,000 taxpayers censuring the above firms for their lack of ethics and corporate social responsibility, the firms caved in and have all promised to waive their right to the tax avoidance offered, a promise that Ethical Consumer magazine will be checking they have all kept, next April when the companies release their annual financial reports. Continue reading

A FOUL FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Those who feel strongly that monopolies are bad for customers, and bad for the image of marketing – and witness the shameful licensed exploitation of millions of Olympic fans by Visa, McDonalds et al, courtesy of wimpy Lord Coe and his team – will be cheered by a recent legal ruling against the powerful football Premier League.

To protect its sale of very lucrative broadcasting rights the bullying League funded a legal action, brought by their puppets at Brent and Harrow trading standards services against a Wembley man, Helidon Vuciterni, accused of importing Albanian satellite decoder cards which allow Premier League matches to be watched at monopoly-free prices, thus potentially saving football-fan customers hundreds of pounds.

Fortunately for fairness the judge was not as beholden to the Premier League as the trading standards poodles, and said so, pointing out that the poodles rendered the warrants against Vuciterni unlawful because they did not disclose a European Court of Justice opinion that our national laws prohibiting the sale of the money-saving cards were contrary to the freedom to provide services.

One would have thought trading standards officers and their puppet-masters at the Premier League would have known that, wouldn’t one?

ANOTHER BLOW FOR MONOPOLY

Meanwhile readers might want to shed a tear or two for the most unlucky Quatari government, which recently paid £900 million for a 20% stake in BAA, the owners of Stansted and Heathrow airports.

Tragically, shortly after the ink on the sale agreement was dry BAA was ordered to sell Stansted, a confirmation of a legal order laid down three years ago by the UK government’s anti-monopoly regulator, the Competition Commission, and fought by BAA ever since.

So a company that the Quatari government thought was a lucrative monopoly worth a rather large punt is now much less so, and has to sell off a huge asset at a time when, due to greedy bankers, the market is in recession.

Shame.

PROFIT FROM MISERY BOAST FROM GLENCORE

One character vying with bankers Fred Goodwin and Bob Diamond for the title of most hated in the business sector is the lesser known Christopher Mahoney of very large commodity traders Glencore.

Mahoney, currently Swiss-based Glencore’s director of agricultural products, came across as seriously nasty and did his employer no credit at all when he gloated recently that the world food crisis, which could cause a lot of deaths, was good for his company saying “The environment is a good one. High prices, lots of volatility, a lot of dislocation, tightness”, an incredibly stupid remark that gave the Independent newspaper a front page headline, “We’ll make a killing out of food crisis, trading boss boasts” and the story headline “Unholy trade of making millions out of misery”.

Anyone else remember what happened to Gerald Ratner’s company after he boasted to an appreciative if vacuous audience at the Institute of Directors that he sold “crap”?

WHAT A LIBERTY, JIMMY!

Those Scottish readers living in Scotland and enjoying the bite, burn and budget price of cheap supermarket alcohols will be shocked to learn that their caring government will be making them pay a lot more for their low-cost tippling than those lucky types south of the border.

From next April the Scottish government are imposing a minimum price of 50 pence per unit on all alcoholic drinks sold in Scotland. This means that a budget priced 2-litre bottle of strong cider that contains 10 -15 units of alcohol and sells for around £2.00-£3.00 down here will be £5.00-£7.00 up there. And a bottle of cheap own-brand French brandy that contains 25 units of alcohol and that we pay under £10 for down here will be costing our Scottish fellow drinkers £12.50. Continue reading

FULL OF HOLES THEN, ANNIE?

Amusing, it was to learn from an email that the current White Book directory from the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) is “an extremely valuable and no holes (sic) barred annual guide” to the promotional marketing industry, according to Annie Swift, CEO of the IPM.

Of course the word “holes” should have been “holds” and is an example of the kind of typo that terrifies all top publishers, like wot we is, one that the trusty spellchecker doesn’t pick up. This error should not however put readers off the product, which contains information about regulatory threats, commercial trends, technology, educational resources and social issues, as well as opinion pieces, company profiles and a directory of agencies and service providers.

And prominent figures in the promotional marketing sector are currently being invited by the IPM to register for a free copy……….

A WEAK LINK, THEN?

One minor TV celebrity getting out of prison soon is Dan Penteado, who helps to exposes workmen on the fiddle on the BBC’s Rogue Traders programme, fronted by consumer and taxpayer champion Ann Robinson.

Penteado was caught doing some rogue trading of his own when fraudulently claiming housing and council tax benefits whilst earning £56,000 from his TV job, a lapse of judgement that got him jailed for 10 weeks by Bournemouth magistrates on July 17.

Wonder if our saintly Ms Robinson knew?

Marketing Matters Sep/Oct 2012 ISSUE 28

THE POWER OF BAD PR
Negative press can be a power for good, it seems. Olympic sponsors Visa, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, EDF, Omega, GE, Adidas, BMW, Atos and P&G were all stung by….

A FOUL FROM THE PREMIER LEAGUE
Those who feel strongly that monopolies are bad for customers, and bad for the image of marketing – and witness the shameful licensed exploitation of millions of Olympic….

ANOTHER BLOW FOR MONOPOLY
Meanwhile readers might want to shed a tear or two for the most unlucky Quatari government, which recently paid £900 million for a 20% stake in BAA, the owners….

PROFIT FROM MISERY BOAST FROM GLENCORE
One character vying with bankers Fred Goodwin and Bob Diamond for the title of most hated in the business sector is the lesser known Christopher Mahoney of very….

WHAT A LIBERTY, JIMMY!
Those Scottish readers living in Scotland and enjoying the bite, burn and budget price of cheap supermarket alcohols will be shocked to learn that their caring government….

October 2012 films to watch

Another good month for films, but the first film this month here at SG7.biz that we are looking to go see is Taken 2, then later in the month we get to go see 007 in Skyfall.

Taken 2
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent with a “particular set of skills” who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from kidnappers in TAKEN.  When the father of one of the villains Bryan killed swears revenge, and takes his wife hostage in Istanbul, Bryan uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.

Skyfall
Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.