Rocking up to the trenches with some chocolate #whatsgooingon

RockinguptothetrenchesHello gooibiz readers. Did you survive the shopocalypse? If so you will be delighted to hear that things are just starting to heat up for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and of course the mother of all holidays Christmas. So what happened this week? Well apart from us landing a washing machine sized lander on a bloody comet!

  • Walmart expands price-matching to Amazon
  • Facebook’s ‘plain English’ privacy policy seems to hide the fact that they are still selling your details
  • Counterfeit goods flourish on Facebook ads
  • UK companies square off in the annual Christmas ad ‘emotional’ contest

A price-match made in heaven

Walmart has widened its price-matching policy to include online giant Amazon. Previously the policy had only included brick and mortar stores but given Amazon’s increasing push towards same day delivery Walmart needed something to fight of its e-competitors.

Take away: As e-commerce giants are moving into the high street, it makes sense that Walmart needs to stay competitive on price. Long term a race to the bottom on prices between Walmart and Amazon is not sustainable, so it will be interesting to see how these businesses manage to attract customers.

What’s that in legalese?

Facebook has published the ‘plain English’ version its privacy policy. It is of course admirable to make complicated issues available to the general public, but there is a problem when the simplicity of a statement doesn’t convey its full legal implications. The plain English version highlights how the information is used for your convenience to ‘show you relevant ads’. A noble goal, especially when compared to the legalese version with Facebook having:

‘permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you.’

Take away: You won’t often hear me ask for legalese but when it comes to privacy policies and other legal documents it has a raison d’etre. Facebook is setting itself up for accusations that it is obfuscating its real policies with its rosy ‘plain English’ version.

Facebook ads riddled with knock-offs

This week we are pretty Facebook heavy but some interesting research came out this week. Two security experts found that around 24 percent of Facebook ads in the fashion and luxury categories were selling counterfeit products.

Take away: Facebook doesn’t publish its stats for how many ads it blocks or removes itself but according to the researchers some ads have disappeared since the report was published. You don’t need to be researcher though to notice how many Facebook ads are for questionable services or products. For anyone thinking of advertising on Facebook this is an issue as your ads will be rubbing shoulders with scammers. If Facebook is going to stay relevant for businesses they have to deal with this issue, especially considering their increasing limitations on Facebook reach. With more hidden behind an increasing paywall and suspect ads crowding you out, you have to wonder if Facebook still offers an attractive value proposition.

The war on Christmas

Finally, it’s early November so you know what that means… In the UK at least the Christmas hype train is just picking up steam. The last few years have seen the biggest UK companies in a sentimentality Mexican stand-off. Every year the ads are going further and further to grasp and yank on the heart-strings. This year is no different and two of the main competitors are Sainsbury’s and John Lewis.

John Lewis went with a Calvin and Hobbes theme of imaginary friends. While I am very sympathetic to anything Calvin and Hobbes related, the cloying sentimentality (for me personally) is fairly high up on the vomit scale. Humbug!

Then again it is only November so perhaps this commercial will render me a quivering pile of tears in a month’s time when I am fully in the Christmas spirit.

Sainsbury’s went for the altogether more ballsy and slightly bizarre move of making a WWI ad featuring the 1914 Christmas Truce.

I’m torn on this ad. Torn between admiration of the testicular fortitude it took to make this ad, essentially co-opting an iconic historical event to hock some chocolate, and a sense of foreboding for the inevitable discussion that will unfold of people who are for or against this ad. If you have any interest in preserving your sanity, avert your eyes from the youtube comments.

What’s clear is that in the UK at least emotional Christmas ads are here to stay and hopefully it will make it across the Atlantic. Just imagine, next year you could be enjoying your Alamo Doritos or D-Day Pizza Hut Special.

Have a gooi weekend.


  1. says

    Le concours d’idées aurait pu etre ouvert à tout citoyen. Les idées ne sont pas la propriété exclusive de qui que ce soit. La réalisation des idées les plus populaires gagnerait à se faire par une équipe multidisciplinaire favorisant le travail d’équipe.Je favoriserais la création d’une équipe composée d’un architecte, d’un designer, d’un anthropologue tous partageant la notion de design empathique..Montréal ouvert et créé pour un hiver


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