SPANISH PRACTICES

Following a fall of 22% in its British profits for the first quarter of the year, Santander, the bank that likes to say “Yes – unless we change our minds” is to focus more on its business customers.

Santander in Britain is run, badly it seems, by Ana Patricia Botin, eldest daughter of Emilio Botin, the Spanish group’s executive chairman. Last year Ms Botin upset some customers in the business sector by reneging on promises made to them by British banks that Santander took over, then making a quick U-turn following complaints. (See Marketing Matters Issues 29 and 30) Continue reading

TIME TO STOP THE NAFF

One of the least inspiring marketing concepts around, for this old curmudgeon, is that of paid celebrity endorsement.

Latest celeb to willingly and publicly torpedo personal credibility for cash is actress Patsy Kensit who used her appearance on ITV’s daytime Alan Titchmarsh Show to plug Weight Watchers as part of her role as one of the firm’s paid “Weight Loss Ambassadors”, generating a complaint to regulator Ofcom, which was upheld. The grubby affair has damaged the reputations of Kensit, Weight Watchers, Alan Titchmarsh and ITV, all for a modest amount of money. Continue reading

VILE AD PULLED

Proof that some marketeers really were in a meeting when the brains were handed out comes from South Korean car maker Hyundai, which ran an ad for its zero-emissions vehicle showing a motorist’s failed attempt to gas himself from the exhaust fumes.

The ad was pulled after complaints from people whose relatives had killed themselves in this way, and after it was described as “utterly insensitive”, “vile” and “disgusting”.

Hyundai have apologised “unreservedly” for the ad they were happy to approve.

MORE SUPERMARKET DECEIT

Supermarkets deliberately copy the packaging of major brands for their own-label versions, a study by consumer group Which? has found.

More than 150 own-label products from stores such as Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Asda were designed to look like brands such as Jacob’s Cream Crackers, Kellog’s Coco Pops, Lurpak butter, Radox bath gel and McVities Digestives. Boots and Superdrug also copied the packaging of leading brands.

Nearly 20% of shoppers deliberately buy an own-label because it looks like the brand it is copying, and a similar number do so accidentally, it has been found.

TESCO FLOP ACROSS THE POND, AND CUT BACK HERE.

Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, have lost £1.2billion in a failed attempt to get into the American grocery market.

The decision to close its Fresh & Easy stores came after annual profits fell by more than 50% in a retail landscape very different from the UK, as the company’s marketeers would have known.

Following rising numbers of customers shopping online, Tesco are also scrapping more than 100 planned store developments in the UK, plans for which they had already acquired land at a cost of £804 million, and with the help of their well-paid lobbyist Lord Hill, the leader of our impartial House of Lords. (See Issue 31, DAVY PULLS IT OFF)

THE DIRTY GAME

Meanwhile the murky world of football has scored an own-goal with the revelation that Liverpool player Luis Suarez bites his opponents and that his team management, and his fans, think the 10-match ban for the biting imposed by the FA is too harsh.

The incident has polarised opinion with some claiming that his footballing skills should absolve him from punishment for his occasional lapses and others that the FA should eat his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.

It is presumably open to other football clubs, perhaps more morally aware than Liverpool, to refuse to play a Liverpool line-up that includes Suarez. Question is, would the FA back them if they did?

MARKETEERS – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Some amusing counters to the cold-callers selling over the telephone were suggested in a recent issue of the Daily Telegraph, and these included versions of the following :-

o Be excessively friendly. Thank them for calling, ask how they are, what sort of day they are having, if the sun is shining in Mumbai etc, and then switch to nasty and say you hope they aren’t one of those creeps who pretend friendliness to sell something. Continue reading

Marketing Matters May/Jun 2013 ISSUE 32

SPANISH PRACTICES Following a fall of 22% in its British profits for the first quarter of the year, Santander, the bank that likes to say “Yes – unless we change our minds”….

TIME TO STOP THE NAFF One of the least inspiring marketing concepts around, for this old curmudgeon, is that of paid celebrity endorsement….

VILE AD PULLED Proof that some marketeers really were in a meeting when the brains were handed out comes from South Korean car maker Hyundai, which ran….

MORE SUPERMARKET DECEIT Supermarkets deliberately copy the packaging of major brands for their own-label versions, a study by consumer group Which? ….

TESCO FLOP ACROSS THE POND, AND CUT BACK HERE. Tesco, Britain’s biggest supermarket, have lost £1.2billion in a failed attempt to get into the American grocery….

THE DIRTY GAME Meanwhile the murky world of football has scored an own-goal with the revelation that Liverpool player Luis Suarez bites his opponents and that….

MARKETEERS – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED Some amusing counters to the cold-callers selling over the telephone were suggested in a recent issue of the Daily….

MAX CLIFFORD INNOCENT This is the view of PR practitioner, and kiss-n-tell tabloid story specialist Max Clifford, 70, who has been charged with 11 counts of indecent….

Event Organisers Update ISSUE 104 May 2013

CONVICTIONS FOR RUSSIAN CLUB FIRE Eight people have been convicted of negligence following the December 2009 fire at the Lame Horse nightclub…

MYSTERY DEATHS AT DOWN HALL A couple celebrating a 22nd birthday at Down Hall Country House Hotel, Hatfield Heath were found drowned in the hotel’s…

N***** TALK UPSETS MORAL PFA Black American comedian Reginald D Hunter, known for his self-effacing use of the N-word to disarm it and poke fun at racists…

FRET NOW – FINE IN A FORTNIGHT Those organisers wishing to have their brains performing at top capacity for their event should worry about it two weeks before…

SO WHAT GETS TO YOU? A recent survey of 2,000 adult hotel guests by the Direct Line insurance company found that the most common complaint was dirty towels…

FIND A PROFESSIONAL Organisers and their guests are invited to attend the 2013 Professional Entertainers Showcase and view a range of acts offered for corporate…

PARTY ON IN CHELSEA One London venue that those staging big parties should know about is the Under The Bridge at Chelsea Football Club…

YEEEEEEEEEE – HAA!!! Organisers looking for that elusive something different for a teambuilding and/or corporate fun event could take a mosey up to Pinewood Holiday…

PEACE IN YORKSHIRE The three-star Tulip Inn York Burn Hall hotel enjoys a quiet location in peaceful countryside near Huby, around 12 miles north-west of York…