Marketing Matters Jul/Aug 2018 ISSUE 63

WORTHLESS The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating claims that some advertisers are using participants in reality TV shows to plug products or …

GATWICK PARKING PROBLEMS A company director who ran a “meet and greet” service at Gatwick and then parked customer’s cars in muddy fields and public car …

RECORD FINE FOR GOOGLE A fine of £3.8 billion has been handed down to Google by the European Commission for breaches of competition law. The Commission says …

A KICKING FOR HERMES Staff at delivery company Hermes were filmed in January punching customer parcels and throwing and kicking them around the depot in …

TURKEY BEFORE CHRISTMAS? The fall in value of the Turkish lira has made a cheap break in the country a real possibility for those hunting a bargain. Despite …

BRING A BOTTLE One piece of railway marketing not thought through is from the clever people who have ordered the smart, new £1billion Bombardier Class 345 …

STUPID MARKETING Learn from their mistakes.
o Wiscombe Cider’s Suicider brand has been banned from sale at a festival following …
o The Bristol Dry Gin distillery was criticised for calling a new vodka Novichok.
o Airline Tui handed out badges to boys saying “Future Tui Captain” and badges to …

WORTHLESS

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating claims that some advertisers are using participants in reality TV shows to plug products or services to their followers on social media without it being made clear to those followers that their reality TV idol is being paid in cash or kind for the “endorsement” This breaches the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines which require paid endorsements to be presented as such, to enable the purchaser to evaluate whether the celebrity claims for the use of the product are genuine and impartial, and therefore can be trusted, or whether they are paid for and therefore worth spit.

Some reality show participants, and their paymasters, already criticised by the ASA are Millie Mackintosh (Britvic) and Louise Thompson (Daniel Wellington) from Made in Chelsea, Marnie Simpso (Diamond White) from Geordie Shore, Stephanie Davis (Convits UK) from Celebrity Big Brother and presenter A.J.Odjudu (Alpro).

It is thought that some of the coyness about payments made is not unconnected to possible financial interest in them from HMRC

GATWICK PARKING PROBLEMS

A company director who ran a “meet and greet” service at Gatwick and then parked customer’s cars in muddy fields and public car parks has been given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

Shagufta Khan, 42 and a director of Best Meet and Greet Ltd, was also ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service, after admitting to Hove Crown Court engaging in unfair and misleading commercial practice. Continue reading

RECORD FINE FOR GOOGLE

A fine of £3.8 billion has been handed down to Google by the European Commission for breaches of competition law.

The Commission says, after a three year investigation, that Google abused its dominant market position by forcing smartphone manufacturers using its Android system to pre-install Google apps and browsers. This illegal practice, says the Commission, prevents manufacturers from installing rival software and therefore limits consumer choice.

The Eu can impose fines of up to 10% of a company’s turnover, meaning a maximum of £10 billion for Google.

A KICKING FOR HERMES

Staff at delivery company Hermes were filmed in January punching customer parcels and throwing and kicking them around the depot in Bridgewater, Somerset.

Hermes say this behaviour was “completely unacceptable” and that the staff involved no longer work there. However a whistle-blower who worked at Bridgewater for 15 months said the behaviour was “routine” and that as many as 200 parcels a day were damaged, or opened by staff.

A 2016 Citizens Advice report into parcel revealed that 69% of customers had experienced items lost or damaged.

TURKEY BEFORE CHRISTMAS?

The fall in value of the Turkish lira has made a cheap break in the country a real possibility for those hunting a bargain.

Despite the current falling pound £1,000 gets 6,887 lira, compared to 4,300 last summer, an improvement of 60%.

Air fares are still comparatively high for independent travellers – Heathrow to Istambul on Turkush Airlines £500+ return – but once in Turkey a family meal for four can be got for £38 as opposed to £73 last year, a bottle of beer for £1.45 instead of £2.30 and a glass of wine for £2 instead of £2.80. Hotel rates and car hire costs have fallen similarly.

BRING A BOTTLE

One piece of railway marketing not thought through is from the clever people who have ordered the smart, new £1billion Bombardier Class 345 trains knowing that they have no toilets.

Apparently, according to the caring management at Transport for London toilets take up valuable seat space that could be sold and they are planning to run the loo-less trains on the 60-mile, 102 minute stretch between Reading and Shenfield. They say that the average time passengers will be without a loo is 20-minutes but this doesn’t allow for breakdowns and signal failures.

So why not just admit “We’ve screwed up”?

STUPID MARKETING

Learn from their mistakes.

o Wiscombe Cider’s Suicider brand has been banned from sale at a festival following a complaint from a Samaritans volunteer that the name was “insensitive”.

o The Bristol Dry Gin distillery was criticised for calling a new vodka Novichok.

o Airline Tui handed out badges to boys saying “Future Tui Captain” and badges to girls saying “Future Tui Cabin Crew”

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 …

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 January next year, and sports clubs barred from having gambling sponsors, amid evidence that 400,000 Italians were problem gamblers (last year’s figure) an increase of 400% over the last ten years. Commenting on the growth of the gambling industry in Italy deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio told the press “I think this is an industry that has become a bit too big at the expense of people’s health and dignity. We are going to cut it down in size”.

In the UK our Treasury, assisted by our chancellor Phillip Hammond, has slowed down the rate of progress on the dropping of the maximum bet on addictive Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, FOBT’s, from £100 to £2, a measure which they have delayed till April 2020 over concerns they will lose the substantial revenue they make from problem gamblers. Advertising of gambling has also come under increased fire when it exploits sports events, such as the current World Cup, uses cartoon images to sell to the young and pays BBC football pundits such as Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage to promote gambling.