Marketing Matters May/Jun 2018 ISSUE 62

ITALY LEADS THE WAY Italy has become the first European country to ban all advertising for gambling. TV, radio and internet promotions will be halted from …

BAD PR FOR BA British Airways has apologised for cancelling the flights of 2,000 passengers after it discovered that the cheap fares offered were a mistake made by …

TRUST GEORGE OSBOURNE AND EVENING STANDARD? Concerns over the editorial credibility of the London Evening Standard and its editor George Osbourne …

SELF- SERVICE SCAMMERS More shoppers are stealing from supermarkets by putting loose avocados and other expensive fruit and veg through self-service tills …

CENTER PARCS UK RIP-OFFS The price of a 7-day stay at a Center Parc holiday park in the UK can be double that charged in some European destinations, and …

W H SMITH STATIONARY Retailers W H Smith have won yet another least-liked position in the annual Which? survey of customer satisfaction, the eighth year it …

COURT BONUSSING A whistle-blower at Capita, the firm paid £59million a year by the BBC to collect TV licence fees, has told the Daily Mail that large bonuses were paid …

DOWN AT WETHERSPOONS This month sees the selling of more British drinks and less from the other countries in the EU at Weatherspoon’s. The 880 pub chain will …

Marketing Matters Mar/Apr 2018 ISSUE 61

ALCOHOL MAYDAY Some alcoholic drinks are set to cost more from May 1 in Scotland as the country becomes the first in the World to set a minimum price for …

FOOT IN MOUTH AT FACEBOOK A senior executive at Facebook has added to the social media firm’s current serious woes by claiming, in a memo in 2016 that was …

TIME GENTLEMEN PLEASE Sexy images of nearly dressed cartoon ladies and saucy names used to market craft beers look to be on the way out. Such racy delights …

ADS IN THE DOCK Toothpaste claimed to whiten teeth, shampoo claimed to help reduce hair loss, long distance bus tickets for £1 and mineral water claimed to …

BOILER ROOM BOYS JAILED Two crooks who used hard sell “boiler room” techniques to defraud investors into paying large sums of money for worthless or …

HELP CRUSH THE CAR HIRE CONS The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating car rental firms that advertise low prices on the internet and then stiff …

BIG HIKE Cex, purveyors of second-hand computer and office equipment and CD/DVDs may need to rethink their latest marketing. Till earlier this year those …

NOW LISTEN KIDS Children eating more healthily could be a vain hope, given the number of ads for junk food they see. This amounts to up to 1,000 every year…

Marketing Matters Jan/Feb 2018 ISSUE 60

MAKING MONKEYS OF US ALL Lawyers are currently preparing what is claimed could be the largest legal action in UK history – a class action against Volkswagen …

DARK SIDE Those selling Malta for sunny Mediterranean holidays or incentive travel this season have a new challenge after a journalist who made accusations of … 

GIVE IT BACK THEN Automatic fines issued to 800,000 taxpayers every year by the HMRC computer for late filing of tax returns may be illegal, a judge has ruled …

DEATH OF THE COLD CALL? MPs are preparing to debate new laws which could impose an outright ban on cold calls, something 85% of consumers would support …

NO BULL Following concerns that high caffeine drinks such as Red Bull are responsible for bad behaviour of children in school, a number of supermarkets are …

RICHARD PUTS THEM RIGHT A bad decision made by someone un-named at Virgin Trains has been sensibly overturned by the firm’s owner, Sir Richard Branson …

SIGHT FOR SORE EYES A sense of humour failure, we hear, prevailed among marketeers at opticians Specsavers after one of their branded cars hit a lamp-post …

OH REALLY FERGIE? The Duchess of York is claiming she has lost more than £40 million in expected business earnings because she was exposed trying to sell access …

Marketing Matters Nov/Dec 2017 ISSUE 59

ACADEMIA MUST DO BETTER Those who thought that those running our universities might just be setting a good example to young people have had to think again as the …

AND THERE’S MORE University ethics might also be a consideration for choice. A recent investigation by the Daily Mail indicated that at least 24 universities, all …

BROADBAND CON A Which? survey of broadband speeds reveals that some providers are claiming speeds that are up to 62% higher than they really are…

OCH AYE A move to set a minimum price per unit for the sale of alcohol has been approved by the Supreme Court in Scotland, making the country the first in the world …

PLANE SILLY Meanwhile travellers by plane are emerging as problem drinkers, with 10% drinking 15 units or more on their flight. Reasons given are nerves, the easy …

ENDOWMENT FLOPS EXPOSED Tens of thousands of homebuyers who were persuaded to take out mortgage endowment policies with insurance companies in …

STEPHEN DRAWS THE LINE Actor Stephen Tomkinson (DCI Banks) has turned down lucrative voice-over work offers from a credit card company. This is, he says …

ADS IN THE DOCK
o An ad for Surrey Police that suggested hearing a crying baby was not a reason …
o A Royal Mail ad that was intended to raise awareness of identity theft has been …
o Virgin Active apologised to a ballet dancer who appeared in an ad for their gyms …

Marketing Matters Sep/Oct 2017 ISSUE 58

CLEVER SECRETS OF PR PROFESSIONALS Top PR firm Bell Pottinger, founded by Thatcher guru Lord Bell, has apparently been impressing their client, the Gupta …

RYANAIR MESSES UP AGAIN An estimated 400,000 passengers booked on Ryanair flights have had them cancelled as the company admits that it has mismanaged its …

ANOREXIA NO LONGER FASHIONABLE Unhealthily skinny models will need to start eating properly again if they want to work after Gucci, St Laurent and Vuitton et Dior …

RUIN YOUR LIFE, AND HELP THE TREASURY A proposed reduction in the amounts that can be gambled on high-street located FOBT’s (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) …

KILLING THE KIDS A 2004 episode of the children’s cartoon character Peppa Pig was banned in Australia for being dangerously spider-friendly but then accidentally aired …

BET HE DOESN’T DRINK IT NOW Carling lager is weaker than advertised, the brewers Moulson Coors have claimed in court. Sold as having 4% alcohol by …

LAMB GAMBOLS OUT OF FAVOUR Sales of lamb have fallen by 25% over the last fifteen years as less families enjoy a Sunday roast, citing a lack of time and …

BIG MAN George Osbourne, former chancellor, banker’s friend, money-lover and editor of the London Evening Standard has been attracting some brickbats for his …

Marketing Matters Jul/Aug 2017 ISSUE 57

CRACKDOWN BITES IN COURT A crackdown by the travel industry against fake food poisoning claims for compensation from British holidaymakers has started to find its …

EUROPCAR RIP OFF ACCUSATIONS International car hire firm Europcar has been accused of ripping off its customers over the last 10 years with grossly inflated…

ARE YOU A STEREOTYPE? A serious report on gender stereotyping from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been met with derision in some quarters …

NO MORE CARD TRICKS The adding of inflated surcharges for payment by credit card, which costs companies 0.6%, is to be banned from January. The ban will …

NO ICE THANKS An investigation by the BBC’s Watchdog programme has found levels, some “significant”, of faecal bacteria in ice served to customers at some of…

SALMON LEAP Those now including salmon in their diet, as an oily fish and good source of omega-3, might want to note its significantly increased price in the last …

ON SOCIAL MEDIA SO IT MUST BE TRUE Reportedly the efforts of one Jeremy Corbyn to market himself as the young person’s best friend are suffering a few minor …

Marketing Matters May/Jun 2017 ISSUE 56

BAD IDEA FROM OFGEM SWITCHED OFF Those who thought that energy regulator Ofgem worked to protect consumers from rapacious energy companies might want to …

COMPANY LAW CLEAN-UP NEEDED The director of a company that inflicted 100 million automated nuisance telephone calls over an 18-month period has avoided …

BATTERY CARTEL FINED £147 MILLION A cartel of four rechargeable battery manufacturers has been fined a total of £147 million by the European Commission (EC)…

CANNY CON A Scottish sea salt company has ceased trading after its product was found to be mostly cheap table salt imported from Israel. The Hebridean Sea Salt …

BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS Some of those who have wanted to avoid wearing real fur, so as to deny support to fur slaughterhouses in Asia, have been disappointed after…

DON’T CALL 118118 Calling a 118 directory enquiries service to get a phone number can cost up to £8.98 per call, if you use 118118, which was 58 pence in 2003. Even worse …

COOLFIZZINGCRINGEMAKINGTOECURLINGDOWNDUMBINGPEPSI Congratulations to Pepsi for supplying this year’s most naff ad, which was quickly withdrawn by the …

YOU’RE HATING IT Meanwhile not far behind Pepsi in the naff race is McDonalds, where the little gem hatched up by their marketeers attracted more than 100 complaints to the …

Marketing Matters Mar/Apr 2017 ISSUE 55

DIRTY MONEY AND GOOGLE Google’s stupidity in accepting extremist content on YouTube and placing ads alongside it has resulted in more than 250 concerned …

BBC SHAMED BY CAPITA Press revelations of low ethical standards at Capita, the outsourcing firm the BBC pay to collect TV licenses have resulted in damage to the …

DEATH OF A NEWSPAPER? It is said that those working on the editorial, as opposed to the advertising side of newspapers and magazines should not have any financial links …

BT WOES BT have been ordered to cut at least £5 a month off the £18.99 a month it charges customers who only buy a land line from them. The cut, ordered by telephone …

BACK TO LAKER DAYS One positive aspect of travel in the 70’s was return flights to the USA for less than £100, courtesy of the pioneering Sir Freddie Laker, who took on …

SAVE MONEY, CHECK THE TILLS Those who don’t have the time, or the inclination, to check their receipts in supermarkets are not always getting the attractive offers shown …

DIET WARS Asda have withdrawn a range of Slimzone diet meals they promoted as being suitable for one of Slimming World’s diet plans, after the weight loss organisation …

PHONE ME IN THE JAG The Advertising Standards Authority (AS) have banned an ad by Jaguar cars that promoted a vehicle’s hands-free mobile technology with the …

Marketing Matters Jan/Feb 2017 ISSUE 54

TIME FOR THE SELFISH TO BE LIABLE It will be interesting to see if the current travel misery deliberately being inflicted on London and its commuters, and the leaving of the …

PRESSING QUESTION Our press have brought their current woes on themselves, though sections such as Rupert Murdoch’s empire have arguably done more than most …

SARAH GOES FOR MORE Meanwhile Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York has launched a legal claim against News Group International for £25 million, losses she claimed she …

BAD MARKETING AT M&S Retailers Marks and Spencer are using technology to secretly track people’s movements via their mobile phones. Devices installed in the …

AGGRESSIVE MARKETING PAYS? One organisation that earns instant deletion from us is one that purports to offer opportunities to earn substantial income from working …

CHRISTMAS CHANGES Alterations in consumer behaviour at Christmas time, and featured in national press reports, have been noted by those who market in the sector…

KEEP CALM AND KEEP FIDDLING The rise of internet reviews, that apparently more than 80% of us look at before buying, has seen a corresponding rise in the number of

AN ANSWER FOR NICOLA Uplifting to read that Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has big-heartedly agreed to put aside, for the time being, her party’s plan to hold another ...

Marketing Matters Nov/Dec 2016 ISSUE

KAROSHI The offices of one of Japan’s biggest ad agencies have been raided after a young woman committed suicide due to karoshi (chronic overwork). Ad firm Dentsu …

TAKING AGGRESSIVE SALES AND MARKETING SERIOUSLY Directors who put their companies into liquidation to avoid fines for making nuisance calls from the Information …

BROADBAND SELLERS TO STOP MISLEADING A complaint from Virgin Media that ads selling BT’s Infinity broadband were misleading has been upheld by the ASA…

COPYRIGHTS TO BE REGAINED The copyright protection period has been increased from 25 to 70 years after a designer dies by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) …

BREXIT BANDITRY? One company that was very keen on staying in the EU, and advised all its employees to vote to stay in the referendum, is Unilever. The firm makes …

BIG PHONE FIRMS IN BIG TROUBLE Phone giant Vodaphone has been fined a giant £4.6 million after it failed to credit 10,000 customers who had paid for top-ups, and then …

AND CAR FIRMS TOO German car makers Volkswagen are set to add to their £15.5 billion bill for emission rigging after it emerged that its Audi luxury brand cars could also …

BUT YOU DO GET A COMPANY CAR Company cars could be a perk of the past, if government plans to increase taxation for employees awarded them are implemented …

CASINOHOLICS Gambling firms are getting around restrictions on TV advertising to children by targeting them on social media, a study has found. Researchers at the …

STARTING EARLY Childhood obesity is being fuelled by TV advertising of sugary breakfast cereals, a study by researchers at Dartmouth University in the US has …

HAPPY AS YOU ARE? An ad that exploited some women’s insecurities about their figures has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) …