Marketing Matters Jul/Aug 2018 ISSUE 63. Thank you for your continued support, you can find more articles on eZinematters.com

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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.

Khan's website lied to customers "We store your car in our parking facility, which is manned and guarded 24/7". Judge Roger Chapple told Khan "Your customers were treated with contempt".

The case was brought, following customer complaints, by the Trading Standards team at West Sussex County Council, which are also bringing a case against Asad Bashir Malik of London Parking Gatwick (LPG) Ltd, on similar grounds. Malik,37, is accused of making more than £1million over two years by claiming that a picture of a secure car park at a hospital in Scotland, 400 miles away showed his parking facility.

Last year hundreds of customers were left stranded at Gatwick when Gatwick First Parking ceased trading and its director, 31 year old Umar Irshac is believed by West Sussex Trading Standards to have fled to Pakistan.

 

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 is a free eZine, published every two months, which we think you will find a useful and informative resource and is designed to help keep you abreast of issues of potential interest.

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Editor:
Peter Cotterell
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