Friday, 15 May 2009

Of Dodgy Marketing and Half-Price Sofas

Marketing has really gone to a dark place. Was it ever light? I don't honestly know. All I can say is that I take everything I hear in adverts with at least half a kilogramme of salt. A pinch would hardly suffice.

Every other thing seems to be on "sale" or "half price" these days. It "was £100" and for some inexplicable reason is "now £20". I exaggerate as usual, but I'm sure you get the point. Isn't there something fundamentally dishonest about all this? How about the "half-price sofas" advertised by such companies as DFS? Has anyone every bought a full-price sofa from these places? I'd really love to hear from you!

I have a legal background and know a fair bit about misselling, trading standards and the like. The big advertisers are just as knowledgeable, but it seems they trample the spirit of the law into the cold hard ground on a daily basis. Take for instance, small print. Not the ones you can hold in your hand and read if you really, really tried. No, I'm talking about the ones on posters and billboards... the tiny chicken-scratches referenced by the ominous asterix at the end of some extraordinary claim or other.

"Fly to America, FREE!*"

*when we said free we didn't really mean free, we were just exhaling...honest!

I get really upset by the ones on the other side of the train, where you want to believe whatever silly thing the advert has claimed, but you just know the illegible print situated on the poster will spoil everything. You want to read said illegible print to be sure, but it's totally impractical to do this without planting yourself firmly infront of your fellow passenger's face.

I have nothing against creative advertising and savy marketing. I just don't like it when folks refuse to play fair.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Instant News

Yes, I know it's been said before. Everything's instant these days. Instant coffee. Instant milk. Fast food. Wait a minute, that's not instant... anyway, you get my drift.

We are an impatient generation. And sadly, the new reporting culture has followed this trend to its great hurt.

I remember a time when the news was delivered once a day, in the evening. It was well considered, well presented, factual and largely accurate. These days we're bombarded with breaking news long before anyone is actually sure what the full story is!

Is anyone else as fed up with this as I am? I'm as eager as the next guy to catch breaking news, but guys, at least get the full story first! Why rush to be the first on the scene only to be the first with nothing concrete to say?

MPs Expenses

Okay, what is it about the UK ministers that reminds me so much of 3rd world despots?! Why can't I enjoy 15 news-watching minutes of my day without hearing some soundbite reminding me that one of my representatives is squandering my hard-earned pennies in some God-dishonouring way? I'm fed up!

Having grown up in a so-called "third world country", I'm used to hearing news reports of the political elite enriching themselves off the back of their slaves ... oops, subjects! What's the right word, anyway? Electorate? Will that work?

While I'd be the first to admit that the scale of corruption... (again I use the wrong word! Sleaze? Okay, that seems fine) ... While the scale of sleaze in a country such as the UK is nothing compared with what obtains in some other less transparent countries of the world, it still disheartens me. I guess I expected more. But I've been told that this is a fault of mine. I expect too much of myself and then project that on others.

Is this a problem with the Labour government? I think not. More a problem with human nature. We just can't seem to keep our hands out of the proverbial cookie jar, given half the chance. Some may take a nibble, others a huge bite, still others scoff the whole tin. But wherever we turn there always seems to be someone a-nibbling.

May God save us from ourselves. I wonder how to get my hands on a Labour party application form...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

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