Marketing Matters May/Jun 2016 ISSUE 50. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on

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Marketing Matters is a free eZine, published every two months, which we think you will find a useful and informative resource.

The secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the large corporations of the USA and the EU is fast becoming a major consideration for those wondering if they should trust the EU enough to want to stay in.

After all this appallingly obvious USA anti-consumer money-grab, with secretive corporate courts deciding on compensation grabbed from a country's taxpayers for laws passed by their governments that adversely affect the profits of Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco et al has already secured the backing of two thirds of the unelected MEPs, so can you trust people who make such ill-advised decisions? Leaked documents have also indicted that the MEPs are also in favour of the questionably corporate-friendly US way of regulating products, whereby a product is only banned if it is proved to be dangerous - people becoming ill or dying is a good indicator - rather than only allowing it onto the market when it is proved safe.

Some of the sectors backing continued ECU membership also erode trust, on the basis that those sectors are themselves demonstrably not to be trusted. Look at the motor manufacturers, with first Volkswagen and now Mitsubishi caught fiddling emission or fuel consumption tests to better defraud their customers. Look at the banks, and their admission that their track record will mean at least a whole generation before people trust them again. And look at our unimpressive politicians, including Jack Straw who goes "under the radar" at the EU to milk a fat fee for changing laws in his corporate client's financial favour, enough said.

According to our very pro-EU PM David Cameron you'll vote to stay in "if you love your country" Another view is that if MEPs, politicians and big corporations want something it must be bad for everyone else. Or is that just too cynical?


Good to see that Michael O'Blarney's bullying Ryanair was rapped over the knuckles earlier this year by the courts for one of its ludicrously unfair terms and conditions.

Ryanair demanded £320 from Lucas Marshall to print out boarding passes to check his family in on a flight back from the Canary Islands last year when he had been unable to print them out himself before travelling. The terms and conditions drafted by Ryanair's crack legal team give them the right to make a charge of some kind for this service, though this should, of course be fair.

Rather than miss his flight home Marshall paid the unfair fee. Back home Marshall wrote to Ryanair requesting a refund but had no response. He then took Ryanair to court. Ryanair's crack legal team failed to turn up to defend their employer's fee and he won the case and was awarded the money, which Ryanair paid, plus costs, after the bailiffs were sent in.

Ryanair, and O'Blarney should know that just because they set charges, and some people meekly pay them, it makes them enforceable in court. Ryanair would be more impressive if they set fair charges based on actual costs of time and printing, rather than rely on bullying, and their customer's ignorance of the law.

Asked by the press for a response brave Ryanair responded with a courageous "no comment".


Two men convicted and imprisoned over a massive "boiler room" share fraud have been ordered to pay back a total of £11 million to the victims they scammed. (The Business Desk)

Jeffrey Revell-Reade, who masterminded the fraud was ordered to pay £10,751,000 and an accomplice, Anthony May was ordered to pay £250,000. The fraud was one of the largest ever uncovered by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and stole around £70 million from investors between 2003 and 2007. According to the SFO the fraudsters used the money to fund extravagant lifestyles for themselves, which included luxury yachts, overseas properties and wine collections.

The boiler room is the place from which fraudsters cold-call investors and sell them shares with a promise of a high return for a quick decision, which later turn out to be worthless and sometimes in companies that don't exist. Around £200 million is scammed in this way every year in the UK with the average investor losing £20,000 and the largest recorded individual loss being £6 million. Boiler room frauds can also start from emails, word of mouth, direct mail or investment seminars, and the fraudsters usually try to scam the same victims again with a different scheme, or sell their victim's names on to other fraudsters.


An HIV clinic run by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust has been fined £180,000 for accidentally emailing its list of 781 patient's email addresses, 730 of which contained its patient's names.

The breach of Data Protection rules at the 56, Dean Street clinic was caused by the emails being sent to the "To" field, rather than the "Bcc" (Blind carbon copy), an error by a member of staff that caused "a great deal of upset", according to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) which levied the fine. The ICO investigation revealed that one of the nine complainants claimed they were "extremely worried" that they would "suffer discrimination at work" from having their HIV status revealed. The ICO found a similar, though smaller breach had occurred in 2010, with the clinic sending out 17 emails with the list of recipients.


Meanwhile one organisation backing an OUT vote on the EU is not doing itself any favours in its marketing.

Formerly the World Development Movement the Global Justice Now group has written to its supporters asking for donations to help stop TTIP. Problem is it is asking those not sending a cheque or postal order to supply full details of their Visa or Mastercard, including the number, validity, card security number and specimen signature.

All of which could pose a serious security risk to those supplying such extensive information.


Asda's "Bag for life" very strong plastic carrier bag for just 6 pence is a useful alternative to shoppers who dont like to be forced into charitable donations, and VAT donations, by buying a flimsy single use bag for 5 pence.

According to Asda staff the strong bags, made from 100% recycled plastic, only cost them 1 pence more than the weak, single use ones, hence the low price.

And here's the real payoff for customers. Each 6 pence bag is printed with the promise that, should it break or get damaged Asda will replace it free of charge, and recycle it.

Seems a bit more constructive than Card Factory's cutting the handles off their single use plastic carrier bags earlier this year so they dont have to charge 5 pence each for them.


World's latest medical phenomenon is Separation Anxiety Disease (SAD) which occurs when people are separated from their mobile phone.

According to research by juice company Innocent carried out amongst 2,000 adults some 30% of us check our phones every 30 minutes, presumably when awake, and 25% suffer boredom when parted from their phone for more than one hour, with 23% saying this separation made them feel anxious.

There is little sympathy, sadly, for the millions of SAD sufferers with 35% of the responders say that their biggest bugbear was people using their mobiles at the meal table (restaurants to note this one) with another 28% annoyed by people checking their phone in the middle of a conversation, and 23% by them being used in the cinema.


Accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have distanced themselves from the demand by their recruitment contractors that female employees in contact with PwC customers must wear high heels.

Following the furore caused by a temp being sent home without pay by PwC contractors Portico for refusing to go out and buy a pair the accountants have said that the discriminatory policy is not theirs, and is one that they are now "discussing" with Portico.

Actress and model Nicola Thorp,27, blew the whistle on the demand made of her and has collected thousands of signatures on a petition urging the government to make it illegal for companies to force women to wear high heels at work.

Question is, given the number of intelligent and independently minded women that must work in senior positions at PwC why has it taken this long, and a junior temp, for the nonsense to come out?



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Peter Cotterell
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