Marketing Matters Jan/Feb 2018 ISSUE 60. 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.

Lawyers are currently preparing what is claimed could be the largest legal action in UK history - a class action against Volkswagen and its marketeers on behalf of all VW owners.

This follows the latest allegations that VW duped British officials into believing that its 2014 diesel cars were much less polluting, and therefore safer than previous models. This was done by rigging one VW Beetle to produce negligible pollution and running it in a laboratory where ten monkeys were forced to inhale the exhaust fumes, to prove that VWs on the road were safe.

However in 2012 more than 70,000 people in Europe died prematurely because of nitrogen dioxide pollution, which comes primarily from diesel vehicles, and Volkswagen have already paid more than £17 billion in fines in the USA for its federal fraud and conspiracy.

The illegal and lethal actions of the car manufacturers echo those of Big Tobacco, which once lied that cigarettes were not addictive.


Those selling Malta for sunny Mediterranean holidays or incentive travel this season have a new challenge after a journalist who made accusations of corruption against Malta's PM, Joseph Muscat, was murdered there in October.

Daphne Caruana Galizia, who alleged endemic corruption in Malta's government was killed by a car bomb that blew her to bits on October 16. She had just filed her latest article attacking the government there which finished with "There are crooks everywhere you look now. The situation is desperate".

Other UK journalists have opined that Malta "looks increasingly like a gangster state: A haven for dirty money run by dodgy politicians, a corrupt judiciary and a partisan police force" with the rule of law "being systematically undermined".


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.

A small property business, Khan Properties, appealed against its automatic fine for being late and won its case, judge Richard Thomas ruling that in his view the approach HMRC should have taken was to have a "flesh-and-blood human being who is an officer of HMRC make the assessment, that is to decide to impose the penalty and give instructions that may be executed by a computer".

The ruling has not been appealed by HMRC, and a flood of claims for reimbursement of fines levied by the HMRC computer is expected.


MPs are preparing to debate new laws which could impose an outright ban on cold calls, something 85% of consumers would support.

The move follows revelations that 4,200 nuisance calls are sent every minute, totalling 2.2 billion a year, with most relating to bogus personal injury claims. Insurance claims, PPI and pensions. Nearly one third are targeted at those 65 or older.


Following concerns that high caffeine drinks such as Red Bull are responsible for bad behaviour of children in school, a number of supermarkets are banning their sale to under-sixteens.

These include Asda, Aldi and Waitrose, and more recently Morrisons, which are concerned that 10% of teachers cite the drinks as being a key cause of poor pupil behaviour.


A bad decision made by someone un-named at Virgin Trains has been sensibly overturned by the firm's owner, Sir Richard Branson.

The bad decision was to stop offering Virgin's travelling customers the Daily Mail on the basis that some Virgin staff had been upset by the paper's editorial positions on such issues as immigration, unemployment and LGBT rights, and felt that people shouldn't be exposed to them whilst riding on Virgin.

Following accusations of censorship Branson took the view that his company "should not ever be seen to be censoring what our customers read or influencing their freedom of choice, nor moralising on behalf of others".


A sense of humour failure, we hear, prevailed among marketeers at opticians Specsavers after one of their branded cars hit a lamp-post in Liverpool. Newspapers looking for a witty response to the crash, in which no-one was hurt were treated to a terse statement of the facts from the usual anonymous "spokesman".

The firm is famous for its humorous ads where people make mistakes because of poor vision and which carry the strapline "Should've gone to Specsavers". So the photograph of the crashed car, with witty comments, flooded onto social media, and in the national press.

Examples included "What a spectacle" "Didn't see that one coming" and "One in the eye for the opticians".

Let's hope someone at Specsavers has the vision and the insight to use the photo in a future witty ad. After all, we all like people who can laugh at themselves.


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 to her former husband, Prince Andrew, in a sting in 2010 by the now-defunct News of the World.

The Duchess claims that the newspaper, with the help of the now-discredited "Fake Sheikh" undercover reporter Mazher Mahmood, "ruined her reputation".



This is run as a new two-day qualification course by the Society of Event Organisers and comprises the two one-day segments Programming a Conference and Conference Administration from the four day CERTIFICATE IN CONFERENCE ORGANISATION course.

These are run on your premises for one or more delegates for a fee of £400 plus £40 per delegate, and with travel by second class rail and budget hotel accommodation for two nights charged as out of pocket expenses. There is no VAT charged as the SEO has de-registered.

View the two one-day programmes at and call Peter Cotterell on 01767 312986 (email to discuss dates and book. Delegates achieving the BASIC CERTIFICATE IN CONFERENCE ORGANISATION can go on to take the other two days for the full certificate at a later date and the same pricing.


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Directory for discounts, special offers and free services.

For the suppliers this will be a low-cost proposition of a total £85 for up to 100 words of text published in six issues over twelve months, which can include details of the venue/product, the discount offered and contact details. Suppliers that are also charities can have this flagged up and can book for £65. 



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Peter Cotterell
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