**** the poor

Caution:  Language

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Saturday nightCap

Herald Editorial on Aussie supermarket bullying

The NZ Herald editorial discusses the Aussie supermarket anti-Kiwi sentiment.

A buy-Australian campaign in two Australian supermarket chains is a sobering lesson for the Green Party and anyone else in New Zealand who advocates the same thing here. The unfairness to suppliers from this country is exactly the effect a buy-New Zealand campaign has in other countries, though the scale of our market diminishes the impact on most of them and increases the damage to us.

The smaller a population, the less it can afford to favour its own suppliers – unless it wants to settle for a more limited range of goods and services, at higher prices, than the rest of the developed world enjoys. That is precisely the reason New Zealand is in the vanguard of global efforts to liberalise trade.

A world in which all markets are accessible to the most competitive suppliers, no matter where they live, is much more important to New Zealand than to, say, the United States or France, though they stand to benefit too.  Read more »

MBIE investigation into building products likely to resolve nothing

Lately the Housing Affordability politicking has turned its attention towards building materials – manufacturing and supply and how the industry is contributing to high prices through what appear to be significantly more expensive materials than are available overseas. The questions have led to an enquiry that seeks feedback from the industry.

Whilst the likelihood is a low turnout on submissions due to fears of being black listed by the big suppliers it is interesting that much focus is upon incentives and price fixing and what happens within the building materials industry to fix prices high, maintain that equilibrium and shit out competition.

Section 4 of the enquiry questionnaire entitled: ‘competition impact of strategic conduct in construction markets’ notes the following issue.

Issue: Lack of Transparency of Strategic Practices

‘Strategic practices such as the provision of rebates or targeted discounts have the potential to constrain access to distribution channels for building materials. The lack of transparency around their use also means the benefits that result from them are less likely to be passed to end consumers’.

What this is about is such practices as ‘cover pricing’ – the act of having a face price but offering rebates and incentives, loyalty schemes between merchants and tradespeople as well as other schemes.   Read more »

Ernst & Young has a brain fade: I know let’s change our brand…something young, hip…gay?

Ernst and Young has gone through a brand change, they decided to go from the full name to a more hip, young look…that turns out is also very gay.

Ernst & Young recently embarked on a massively expensive rebranding project. They’ve changed their logo, name, and company colours. In case you hadn’t heard, they’re now called ‘EY’. Delightful. Here’s their new corporate logo.



Except that they apparently failed to hit up Google for the phrase “EY” at any point in the rebranding process.    Read more »


10 Must have Labour/Green Discounts

10 Must Have Labour/Greens on their 10% Coupon Card – Observation by the Owl

The whole idea of having my power bill reduced by 10% by the Greens and Labour in a far-left economic country closely linked to socialism got me thinking about what other 10% discounts the Labour/Green government could do for me.

So I have listed my wish list below:

  1. 10% off my power bill (That is a given as already offered)
  1. 10% off my taxes ( this is simple to do and no one will complain)
  1. 10% off my fuel bill – very simple – just nationalise Marsden Point and that will control the price at the pump – NZOG shareholders will take a hit but so what!  Read more »

Green marketing has failed

This article by Joel Makower on Linkedin exposes a truth the green movement refuse to accept; people base their buying decisions on price and trust of a brand before the environment.

Sometimes it’s hard to face reality, especially when a dream is so alluring. And the alluring dream of green marketing is this: that consumers would cast a vote in favor of a more just and sustainable world whenever they shop.

But the reality has been vastly different. For well over 20 years, consumers haven’t been willing to vote with their dollars. The reasons are many and complex, but the result is clearcut: With the exception of some energy-saving devices, no green product has captured more than a tiny slice of the marketplace, at least in the U.S.

Think about it: No environmentally preferable car, carpet, cleaner, cosmetic, clothing, coffee, credit card or cell phone has captured more than 2 percent of its respective market. In most cases, sales of green products represent well under 1 percent of any given category.  Read more »

A to the S to the S

Advertising Strategy 101

- Choose an old man that people are slightly familiar with. Describe him as retro cool. People will warm to him immediately.

- Get him to shout out and gesticulate wildly. People like this and don’t find it intimidating or irritating.

- Then associate him with hip hop slang. People will find this credible and listen closely.

A to the S to the B needs to back to the drawing B to the O to the A to the R to the D.


An email from a reader – Foodstuffs taxing suppliers

via the tipline, a reader emails me:

You’ll see in the news today that Foodstuffs Wellington who own Pak’n Save and New World in Wellington are slamming NZ suppliers with a 3% rebate.

Well that’s just the start! I hear  from someone working there that they’ve just opened a product buying centre in China too. Does that mean we’re going to see even more Chinese products on our supermarket shelves?

I thought a NZ owned supermarket group would support local suppliers - obviously not!!

I’m going to shop at Aussie owned Countdown.

It certainly sounds like Foodstuffs is employing bullyboy tactics against suppliers…and when you have a duopoly I guess they can.

Grocery suppliers say supermarket giant Foodstuffs has partly backed down on its decision to hit suppliers with a 3 per cent promotions charge on products sold in its supermarkets.

However the retailer claims there’s been no backdown.

Foodstuffs Wellington – which has the Pak’n Save, New World and Four Square brands throughout the lower North Island – sent letters to all its suppliers in recent weeks informing them it would start charging the ”promotions rebate” from October 1 this year.

The Food & Grocery Council [FGC] said Foodstuffs Wellington has agreed to delay implementation of the rebate for homebrand products, which are Foodstuffs’ own brands such as Pams and Budget.

Suppliers have never had any say in promotional activity for such brands, and in fact are often faced with a situation where a product they supply for use in a Pams or Budget product is actively competing with their own branded product on supermarket shelves, FGC chief executive Katherine Rich said.

Suppliers should not be expected to foot the bill for promoting such products, Rich said.

I would have thought the 3% “promotions charge” was in fact a secret commission to Foodstuffs in order to prefer suppliers who coughed it…I say that because what are the implications for a supplier if they don’t pay it vs a supplier that does pay.

Imagine say a supplier of a readily available commodity like say honey…or a ubiquitous product like salt or something with multiple suppliers didn’t pay the “promotions charge”…and another supplier out there did, and as a result Foodstuffs changed the core component of their Budget and Pams house brands to the supplier that paid the “promotions charge” forsaking the previous supplier then a case could easily be made that it was in fact a secret commission in order to secure the business. A quick read of the Secret Commissions Act 1910 would seem to support this.

Perhaps this is something the Commerce Commission might like to have a look at?


A winning strategy

A car wash in Malaysia has cottoned onto a winning strategy….though perhaps they should have tried this in Las Vegas. Perhaps Air New Zealand should try this to “realign” their Air Points scheme:

Malaysian police have shut down a car wash that was offering regular customers free sex after every ninth car wash.

Malaysian newspaper The Malay Mail reports the car wash in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Sunway Mentari had been open for three months and had formed a partnership with a local massage parlour, enabling customers to redeem free sex from the brothel as part of a customer loyalty scheme.

The Mail reports that police stormed the parlour and found several stamped loyalty cards that had been used by customers to cash-in on the car wash deal.

Malaysian officer Emmi Shah Fadhil told The Malay Mail that the bust was unexpected.

“It was supposed to be just another routine operation,” Emmi Shah told the paper. The police squad that raided the massage parlour were told of the deal during the raid, and they found five customers taking advantage of the offer.

“To get the extra ‘offer’, customers must send their cars for washing nine times within a certain period,” Emmi Shah says. “The tenth car wash will entitle them to free sex.”