There’s something fishy at Pret and Facebook faces the music.

Pret’s claim that its sushi is fresh has been exposed as
untrue by the Telegraph.
Seems it’s flown in from Chile, 7000 miles away. Under
regulations, they can de-freeze it and repackage it and call it fresh which
make s a mockery of the term fresh. For a brand that relies on its values,
fresh food everyday, this will do a lot of damage to consumer trust.

 

This is just one example of the left hand not knowing what
the right hand is doing. While those responsible for the brand are spending
millions promoting a brand’s value, some accountant is screwing it up, all to
save a few quid. Maybe companies need to educate all their staff in reputation
management.

 

I do feel sorry for Aviva’s marketing department, they
must want to shoot the pen pushing clerk who asked a customer for £235,000 back
after he finally found a limp excuse to reject the claim. The poor woman was
the victim of arson and then became the victim of Aviva’s claims department.
While the cleric was probably bragging how he’d managed to avoid paying out,
the newspapers were busy going after Aviv. I don’t think you could have got
worse press, and no doubt, major reputation damage. Lets be honest, no one
trust insurance companies and this was not only a blow for Aviva bit the whole
industry. Many years ago I worked on an insurance account and the client openly
admitted, “we’ve not in the business of paying out, we’re in the business of
getting paid.”

 

Supermarkets have also found themselves a demon on the
doorstep in the form of private parking companies. These cowboys (not my words
but those of many articles) who operate these schemes are using unethical
tactics to con people out of money. The result, supermarkets lose customers.
I recently had the pleasure of dealing with Morrison’s lot.

 

After threatening letters and the threats of bailiffs being sent in to claim
the fine – they have no lawful claim to the fine by the way and no company has pursued one in a court because they wouldn’t win – I caught them out for law
breaking by failing to put their company registration number on their material.
Companies House stepped in, they shut up. I now shop at another supermarket.

 

I use to be a regular listener to LBC but am appalled that
they are taking sponsorship from what must be the lowest profession of all and
a sign that we are not as civilise a 
society as we like to think – bailiffs. I am about to write to the ASA
over Dawkin’s ads as unethical, “don’t let people use you as a bank… let us get
what you’re owed.” In these financially challenging times the Government should
suspend licences for debt collectors and bailiffs and allow a more ethical
groups to handle debt.

 

Facebook could also be facing the music soon, but over data.
There seems to be some potential issues over how they handle data when they bar
people. Of course handing access to any database to another party is illegal.
So when they bar the administrator of a group and then openly offer the group
to anyone who wants to admin it they are in effect in breach of the data
protection laws. Also the destruction of your data constitutes the destruction
of property as it’s your IP so could result in a legal case for damages.
Unfortunately, making people click a T&C box has little legal upholding and
doesn’t over ride laws. Lawyers are currently looking at this. This could open
the door to massive claims against Facebook from barred customers. Watch this
space.

 

And finally I have to comment on people brands. Having
suffered a number of episodes of Paris Hilton’s BBF (in the interest of
research) I cannot think of anyone who more deserves the badge of the ultimate
Bimbo Brand.

  • Darian Watts

    Facebook is so last year. Twitter’s going out too. Royal mail is dead. So what’s next?

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