Christmas is coming--What about the Ads.

  spuds 20:35 24 Oct 2004

Christmas is soon to be with us, and all the stores are getting into the pre-christmas sales mode,with the hope that they will obtain some of your well earned cash.But as it come to your attention about the way advertising is perhaps not what it should be, and that these special offers are only an enticement for you to shop,and perhaps purchase that more expensive item.

This weekend I have seen two full page adverts from two high street named stores. The products advertised looked very good, they were absolute bargains in fact, but when I checked into a possible purchase, the magic words came out "Sorry-Not in Stock".

My question: Are these adverts genuine-- Are they just an enticement to shop, and perhaps spend more money -- Why spend thousands of pounds on a advertisement, when perhaps stock levels are not compatible with the advert -- Do these type of adverts do more harm that good for the stores involved -- Should consumer law have a say. I will not give the stores names, only to say that both companies are well known in the computer sector.

  Mozarella 22:29 24 Oct 2004

Spud, everything you say is true. This type of advertising has been with us for some time. It`s purpose is to get people interested in a product, hold that product back as long as some "suit thinks it`s necessary, and then spring it on the market. Honestly Spuds the best thing to do is totally ignore them and if enough people did that the perpetrators might just become honest. By the way Spud, last timeI looked they were advertising for Christmas in May.

  VoG II 22:51 24 Oct 2004

I have advertising turned off as far as possible on the internet using a HOSTS file. The rest I just ignore.

I consider advertising nowadays to be extremely intrusive and I hate it. It is all, after all, a con to make you buy something that you do not want.

  Forum Editor 23:20 24 Oct 2004

were involved in the retail business on your own account you might see all this through slightly different eyes.

There seems to be a mode of thought pervading society that says we must all be protected from anything vaguely resembling any kind of pressure or inducement at all costs, in case we feel tempted to succumb, and stop thinking for ourselves. Under no circumstances must anyone do anything to exploit our human failings (greed, the desire to get something for nothing etc.,) or we'll start shouting that 'there ought to be a law against it'.

We're talking about advertsing for goodness sake, not the black death. Advertising has been with us for thousands of years, it helps to drive the economy, and the advertisers know that Christmas is a time when normally sane people seem to abandon all sense of reason in an orgy of credit-card fuelled spending. It's a highly competitive market out there, in case you hadn't noticed, and if you were running a high-street retail business you would use every available tool to ensure you got as much share as possible.

On the other hand, if you want a bland, featureless society where everyone is wrapped in the State's cotton wool and totally protected from the possibility of making a wrong decision or thinking for themselves you're going the right way about it.

  VoG II 23:50 24 Oct 2004

Um, no. I just do not want to be bombarded by (often misleading) information that I did not request, and certainly do not need.

Is that too difficult to understand by the advertisers? No, I don't think so. And now we have the Ad-ware that tries to hook us all into their malevolent sales tactics.

In other words, they would now like to change my browser settings to look at something that they want to flog.

But they do not want to flog pots and pans, do they? No, it is images of little boys and girls, huge members, viagra and so on. I do not need that. If I am obstructing some sort of free market then I am sorry but pleased to do so and I will continue, thank you very much.

  JonnyTub 00:13 25 Oct 2004

I am involved in the retail business, and I'm self employed which means I don't have the kind of money behind me to even contemplate a marketing exercise such as those you mention. (i.e. national newspapers, tv, radio, billboards, etc)

Fe is absolutely correct in that a credit card frenzy does ensue at xmas time, it does now, it did last year, the year before that and for many years to come.

why?..., it's crimbo for god's sake, people buy prezzies!!! for themselves and others...

It's ignorant to assume that all these adverts placed are under the false pretence of getting you to visit their place of business and buy something you don't want only to find their out of stock (on purpose) so then what's the big deal?? you didn't want it in the first place, or did you?

If you assume these adverts are placed to basically get you instore, then yes you are absolutely correct, they are, that's what they're designed to do, if when you get there you find you've "missed out", then you simply didn't join the que early enough.

These adverts are placed in the hope they get your attention, then that's the point of advertising isn't it. If you find you get there and nothing's left, tough luck, the goods were probably bought in a limited quantity on a special offer basis, purely for the advertising campaign, nothing wrong with that at all, for one it makes a quick buck or two for the company involved and two, those who got there first, genuinely did get a good bargain. If your one of those that didn't get there in time console yourself with a jd & coke and get over it.

I myself have a local advertisng campaign going...

it goes something like this:

Solid pine double robe, 3 drawer bedside, and 4 drawer chest for £99 I've only got 100 of these in stock, when they've gone, there gone...
I got these on special from my wholesalers with whom I have a 100% garaunteed cheapest price in the uk offer. So what's the point you ask, the point is I get advertising coverage, the manufacturers get coverage and we both win. Small businesses are the backbone of britain.

As for internet advertising, if your getting viagra offers, huge member, little boys and girls then yes, knock em off your system by all means possible, but normal everyday tv, radio and billboards, just don't do the "sorry not in stock" thing on purpose.

Give us little guys a chance, we've got a lot more to lose without your custom and in the end, should something go wrong... you can garauntee we'll do more to help than an automated phone system.

Err, i hope i made a point with this rambling, although i'm not sure.

I await the deluge of critics, and will ferociously defend the honest (not internet based, i must admit) advert.

  Forum Editor 00:42 25 Oct 2004

Um, yes.

I think you've missed the point of all this - spuds was talking about conventional media advertising by computer retailers. You're referring to internet advertising of a dubious nature - which is a totally different thing. If you want to protect yourself from being bombarded by advertising that you didn't request I suggest that you go and live in the arctic circle. Here in the real world you're going to see advertising until the day you die, whether or not you want to. The average town or city dweller sees around two hundred advertisements a day - he/she has no choice in the matter, and you're influenced by them no matter what you might say to the contrary - we all are.

  spuds 11:10 25 Oct 2004

Since posting this article, I have been browsing various consumer problem and help sites. Some very interesting facts have appeared, it would seem the 'Out of Stock' adverts are more common that we realise.Some well known named companies seem to have their fair share of bad reports on a regular basis, and they have had their knuckles slapped more than once by the various watchdogs over questionable media advertising methods.Fines and expensive mis-advertising do not seem to curb these companies in their enticing customer friendly activities.

One interesting site click here covers many consumer grumbles, and in the section under Lidl some interesting facts appear, as to their special offer distribution methods.I receive on a weekly basis a number of email and mailshots informing me in advance of these special offers from various companies, but what is the point of being told that a certain item is going to be sold, yet no or very limited stocks are being made available.I have on occasions tried to contact the local store, so that I could check on stock availability before making that special journey, only to be informed that the store in question do not have a customer contact point, and I must make that special journey to find out if stocks are available.Some people may state that this is good marketing, but for whom!.

  JonnyTub 13:39 25 Oct 2004

Most people know that when a mail shot from lidl comes and there's a cracking deal in it, your chances of getting one without queing first thing in the morning are nil. Lidl don't ever as far as i remember put on the mailshot that these offers are of a limited quantity so imho that is a tad underhand.

Naughty lidl, go to your room!!

  end 14:50 25 Oct 2004

to put my pennysworth in;
what really infuriates me , are the programms, admittedly run on the "commercial channels", that are describing charity relief work , disaster areas ,,hospitals in need ,that type of thing;and , interspersed come the dreaded ads, often on a theme that is almost "insulting " to the programe being watched ; I realise that the programme is being aired on the so-called "commercial channel", but the "bad taste" sticks in my mouth;

only once in my life have I seen a "charitable" film shown in its entirety on a commercial channel without the "benefit" of "supporting ads"(note the sarcasm intended), and the channel concerned had agreed to show the film without the additional ads being thrown in "out of consideration" to the theme of the programe..

and ?is Christmas "an excuse" to run up yet more consumer debt in order to "keep up with the Jonses":(

you then have the ads pointing in the direction of agencies who will lend you money at exorbitant rates to repay the debts you raked up.

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