Archives: January 2018

The 2018 Most Interesting Super Contests for the Super Bowl

The noted football lover, Karl Lagerfeld, once said, “Clear thinking at the wrong moment can stifle creativity.”  (This coming from a man who has dressed in the same outfit for 50 years.)  This year, the marketers have thrown away the playbooks, sidestepped clear thinking and used Bill Belichik-like creativity to come up with some fun promotional contests for Super Bowl Sunday:

Get Your Hands Off My Car. Not since the days of Otto Graham have kids flocked around a car with their hands firmly planted hoping to make it into overtime and win that precious hotrod. Mercedes-Benz has updated this contest for the 21st century. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

A Post Guaranteed to Give a Lesson on Money Back Guarantees (or Your Money Back)

Ever hear of the “Trial Mark”?  In 1869, for his home brewed medicinal products J.R. Watkins created bottles that included an embossed “Trial Mark.”

Mr. Watkins sold his products door-to-door and offered the first Money Back Guarantee to consumers, provided their use of the product did not extend beyond the “Trial Mark.” – Ingenious!

One hundred and fifty years later, money back guarantees are a trillion (with a T) dollar business in the U.S.  With that comes about a 10 billion (with a B) dollar loss for businesses. (more…)

Please follow and like us:

Is a Gangsta A Gangster?: Does the Judges’ Discretion put Contestants in Jeopardy?

We’re starting off the year packing heat.  On New Year’s Day, the Jeopardy judges exercised their discretion to bump off a contestant who thought he was in the pink.

Answer (it’s Jeopardy): “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton Classic.”
Response: “What is Gangster’s Paradise Lost.”
Alex: Correct.
Judges: Nope, incorrect – The correct answer is “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost.”

According to the Jeopardy website, the decision was made because “It turns out that ‘gangsta’ and ‘gangster’ are both listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition.” (more…)

Please follow and like us:

FTC 2017: Consumer Protection Year in Review (aka. If you do it, we’ll catch you)

The FTC put out its consumer protection year in review providing a comprehensive list of significant consumer protection developments in 2017.  Let us indulge you with a recap of a few illustrative actions affecting the promotion world.

“Free” Samples

In October 2017, the FTC charged A1 Janitorial Supply Corp. with deceptively calling businesses offering a “free” sample of its cleaning products and then billing them for the samples after shipping.  Hoping that one hand wouldn’t wash the other, the company shipped the goods to one employee (who received the telephone call) but then sent the invoice to another employee.  The FTC alleged that this practice violated the Telemarketing Sales Rule, 16 CFR Part 310 and the Unordered Merchandise Statute, 39 U.S.C. § 3009.  A TRO was entered and the case is still pending.

The lesson:  To stay squeaky clean, remember free means free even when it’s B2B. (more…)

Please follow and like us: