Marketing Matters Jul/Aug 2017 ISSUE 57. 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.

A crackdown by the travel industry against fake food poisoning claims for compensation from British holidaymakers has started to find its way through to our courts.

A family of three appeared at Liverpool magistrates court last week charged with six counts of fraud after alleging they were ill with food poisoning on holidays to Majorca and demanding £52,000 in compensation from Thomas Cook. Deborah Briton, 53, her partner Paul Briton, 43 and a daughter Charlene Briton, all pleaded not guilty and face up to six years imprisonment if the case against them is proved. Their claim was handled by David Norman Solicitors of Nelson, Lancashire.

The case follows that of another Liverpool family, Julie Lavelle, 33, and her partner Michael McIntire, 34, who submitted a claim for up to £10,000 against Thomas Cook alleging that they and their two children experienced diarrhoea and vomiting for two weeks during a stay in Gran Canaria. Their claim was thrown out by Liverpool County Court and they were ordered to pay costs of £3,744 to Thomas Cook. And another holidaymaker Amy Hughes, 28, from North Wales has been ordered to pay £25,000 to Thompson after she unexpectedly dropped her compensation claim for sickness alleged to have occurred at a five-star hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Both of these claims were handled by solicitors Bridger and Co, of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire.

The travel industry says that fake claims, almost all from British holidaymakers, are costing it £50 million in Spain alone and blames holidaymakers for being persuaded by claims management companies, which take a large percentage of any compensation paid, and tout for business at resorts, to defraud the holiday companies. One Liverpool based company was recently caught touting at a cancer charity event they had sponsored. Previous pay-outs of compensation have been called into question and may result in a clawback through the courts by the travel industry.


International car hire firm Europcar has been accused of ripping off its customers over the last 10 years with grossly inflated repair bills when cars suffer damage.

The overcharging of as much as 300% is being investigated by Trading Standards officers in Leicester where Europcar is based and may breach the Fraud Act and the Consumer Rights Act. There have been claims that the garages carrying out the repairs were secretly told to inflate the costs by Europcar, to include a large share for itself and the company have admitted that the mess could cost it £30 million to clean up, a figure that could be optimistic given that around £38 million was wiped off the company's value when the allegations emerged.

Suspecting that the rip of could be an industry wide practice not just confined to Europcar the Daily Mail has advised car hire customers billed for damage to insist on seeing a copy of the bill for the work the car hire company say had to be carried out, and to pass the details to the newspaper for investigation of possible fraud.


A serious report on gender stereotyping from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been met with derision in some quarters.

The ASA's main concerns are ads that relate to body image, objectification, sexualisation, gender characteristics and roles and mocking those who do not conform to gender stereotypes. Ads that inappropriately sexualise women and girls, and those that suggest it is acceptable for young women to be unhealthily thin are given as examples, as are those that suggest that a woman's role is cleaning up after other family members, or staying in the kitchen to cook that suggest that an activity is unsuitable for a girl because it is stereotypically associated with boys (or vice versa) or that mock men for being unable to carry out simple parental or household tasks.

Those disparaging the approach say it is patronising and nannyish to assume that people won’t know a corny or cringe-making ad when they see it and won’t recognise how they are being manipulated by the advertiser.

Interestingly one iconic ad that ran for 16 years on the box was the much-loved stereotypical and homely Oxo mum pushing stock cubes for cooking and played by the late Lynda Bellingham, she now eclipsed by a rival stock cube company using, er, male chef and restaurateur Marco Pierre White.


The adding of inflated surcharges for payment by credit card, which costs companies 0.6%, is to be banned from January.

The ban will affect airlines such as Flybe, which charges 3% with a minimum charge of £5, Ryanair, FlightCentre and Thomson Airways which charge 2% and British Airways which charges 1%. Insurer Swinton Insurance charges 2.5% as do North District Council, with other councils such as Wealdon, East Herts, Lichfield and Tameside all charging 2%.

Budget hotel group Travelodge currently impose a £2 fee for payments by credit card or PayPal.


An investigation by the BBC's Watchdog programme has found levels, some "significant", of faecal bacteria in ice served to customers at some of the major UK fast food chains.

The coliforms were found at seven of the ten samples taken from KFC, six of the ten from Burger King and three of the ten from McDonalds. The likely cause is staff handling the ice, and/or the ice making machines, not properly washing hands after going to the toilet.

Last month Watchdog investigated the ice at three coffee shop chains and found coliforms at seven of ten samples taken from Costa, and three out of ten samples taken from Starbucks and Caffe Nero.


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 few weeks.

Our local Asda, which was asking £12 a kilo for Scottish salmon fillet now wants £15 a kilo. Pollution of waters in Scotland by the hundreds of salmon farms that now occupy loch and estuary waters on the country's west coast has been blamed for the sharply increased mortality rate, said to now be one fish in seven or 14%. This is due, it is said to overcrowding in the tanks that can hold 50,000 fish, and the amount of faeces the fish then deposit in a tiny area of the sea bed. This provides a perfect breeding ground for the sea lice parasites that feeds on the skin and blood of the salmon, leaving them vulnerable to fatal infections, an aspect that affects a half of all farms in Scotland.


Reportedly the efforts of one Jeremy Corbyn to market himself as the young person's best friend are suffering a few minor setbacks.

Following a dazzling presence on social media and a stunning performance at Glastonbury our Jezza has had to admit that his promise to abolish tuition fees and to "deal with" the problem of student debt - boasts that so impressed some of our student body that they illegally voted for him twice - was more aspirational than factual, leaving some to conclude that he might have got his figures and fantasies from a former girlfriend, a Ms. Abbott, who got them from a bloke down the pub, whose Mum told him.

Politicians, dontcha luv 'em?



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The views of the editor are not necessarily those of the publishers.

Peter Cotterell
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