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…

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 alcohol, in this case 50 pence per unit.

The move has been made to alleviate Scotland’s drink problem and is expected to save “thousands of lives” according to health minister Shona Robison. Drinks most affected will be 7.5% ABV (Alcohol By Volume) cider which can currently be bought in Scotland for as little as 16pence per unit, the new limits putting a 3 litre bottle (22.5 units) up from £3.60 to £11.25, a rise of more than 200% Beers and lagers at 5% ABV will have to be sold for no less than £1.10 per 440 ml can, a rise of around 50%, wines at 12% ABV for no less than £4.50 a bottle and the cheapest whisky will be £14 a bottle, all of which could persuade some thrifty Scots to travel over the border to England to buy their favourite tipples. Continue reading

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 leaked, that anything that helped his employer grow was good, even if it helped terror attacks, or was on the back of ethically dubious data practices. The most important thing, claimed Andrew Bosworth was connecting people and ensuring the growth of the company.

The utterly stupid comments have been taken by many to show the real and misguided mindset of a company that is having a number of crises, including the data of 50 million Facebook customers being harvested and used without their permission, and Facebook making a profit running scam ads and hate material.

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 (for some) as the pretty and leggy lass in a red mini-dress and chunky heels could disappear from the label of Robinsons Dizzy Blonde Golden Zesty Ale as the brewers accept that lots more ladies enjoy the stuff, and could just be offended by the way it comes across. The Castle Rock Brewery, which has marketed its Elsie Mo Full Bodied and Irresistible ale with American style cartoon pin-ups displaying cleavage, stockings and suspenders has already altered its artwork to portray Elsie as a heroic pilot figure, to be more “accepted by a culture that strives for, and celebrates equality”. Continue reading

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 extend life have all been targeted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) recently.

o Ads for Glaxo-SmithKline’s Sensodyne True White tooth-whitening toothpaste were banned after the ASA ruled that there was no evidence that the product whitened teeth more than any other toothpaste not claiming whiter teeth.

o Ads for Dr Kurt Wolf’s German Alpecin Caffeine C1shampoo were banned after the ASA ruled that there was no evidence that the product “helped to reduce hair loss” as claimed.

o Ads for Megabus promising “fares from £1” have been banned after Megabus admitted that there could only be one fare at that price per coach.

o Ads for No 1 Rosemary Water have been banned after the ASA ruled that there was no evidence that drinking it could “Help the body stay illness-free and in turn contribute to a much longer life” as claimed.

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 grossly overpriced goods have been jailed for thirteen years each.

Dylan Creaven and Andrew Rowe sold worthless carbon credits and very low quality or non-existent diamonds from very smart offices in St James Square, London. Both were also involved in fraudulent land deals, Creaven with a company which sold land packages for 31 times their value and raked in £3.2 million before being closed down by the Insolvency Service, and Rowe with a firm that raked in £10 million selling overpriced land.

For those interested in how these scams work see two excellent and enjoyable films, Glengarry Glen Ross and Boiler Room.

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 their customers with hidden fees when they collect the vehicles. The CMA says that if the deal is signed in the UK the customer should be covered by the Consumer Protection Act, which requires firms to clearly display their charges.

The CMA is happy to take evidence of wrongdoing – tel: 020 3738 6000.

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 ordering CDs or DVDs to be posted from the Cex shops where they were in stock paid a reasonable flat rate of £2.50 total postage and packing costs for up to 10 items, any size/weight sent, or 25 pence per item.

Now, however the price has soared to £1.50 per item, a rise of 500%, meaning that the cost of sending 10 items has climbed from £2.50 to £15.

Cex branch staff claim that their firm was “losing a fortune” on the old deal but the hike has left some customers wondering if a middle road couldn’t have been found, say a total of £5 or £7.50. After all Cex, who pay 1 pence for DVDs they sell for 50 pence are not exactly losing a fortune on the product itself.

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, according to researchers in Australia. During peak viewing times the number of ads for healthy foods is half the number for junk stuff.

Liverpool University revealed last year that British children can see as many as 12 ads for junk food every hour during family shows like The Voice.

Event Organisers Update April 2018 ISSUE 162

A MODERN CURSE? Is social media, which we have all been told we should be enthusiastically embracing, on the way out? Certainly the continued posting of racial …

THE SMELL WORSENS Another Liverpool couple have been caught out trying to defraud a travel company with false claims of holiday food poisoning, and this time …

MORE VENETIAN RIP-OFFS Another case of visitors to Venice being grossly overcharged for food in restaurants around St Marks Square has emerged …

THEFTS FROM EVENTS BUSINESS An event supplier specialised in providing cocktail and bartending expertise was robbed late last month. Two thieves broke into …

BIG CRUISERS FOR LIVERPOOL Liverpool will be able to handle the huge floating blocks of flats that these days pass for modern super liners with a new £50 million …

NIGHT NIGHT A sleeper mini-coach that can carry 12 passengers lying down has been launched for those travelling 300 miles or more. The berths on the coach come …

NEW MARRIOTT AT NEC Building of the new Marriott International Moxy Hotel will start at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in June this year and should be open …

FIVE-STAR WARSAW Joining a familiarisation trip to Poland as a guest of Marriott Hotels the writer enjoyed five-star accommodation at hotels in Warsaw, and Krakow …

HILTON AT HEATHROW There can’t be many airport hotels with a large and attractive outside area for al fresco barbecues and other eating in the warm months but the … 

BEER TASTING A recent cruise around Scotland and the Orkneys, the Shetlands and the Danish Faroe Islands gave the writer the chance to run a beer tasting of twelve … 

MARTY Only two films have ever won the double of the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Picture, and one was director Billy Wilder’s 1945 The Lost …