This week, my team has come up with a fantastic campaign that builds on the feel-good factor that pertains in the country, post-Olympics – a campaign that makes a virtue of the Britishness of our brand. We had flowing Union Jacks, adorned with our logo, and a host of supporting material. Everyone loved it until someone pointed out that our business operates in the UK and Ireland and the Irish do not always take kindly to a Union Jack.
But does this caution matter?
I came across an interesting blog this week that asked how many people read the pop-up windows that appear when you download the latest software upgrade to your laptop, or make an online purchase? How many people just hit “accept” or “agree” and move on? Or the mailings from your bank or credit card company with pages of updated terms and conditions that the cover letter suggests you don’t need to worry about, so you ignore and either shred it or throw it in the back of a drawer?
My understanding as to why we have updated terms and conditions, and the reason the banks/credit card companies/telephone suppliers have to spend what I would imagine is a lot of money sending them to us, is because the so-called consumer bodies have insisted that said organisations must send them to ensure we are fully protected.
But, and this is my contention, are these pages of small print really in the interests of the consumer? Some run to 15,000 words or more, often in the “plainest of English” so that they are unreadable to a normal human being. Or are they there to protect the institution that issued them for any eventuality? In whose interest do they serve? For example, think about this: you don’t actually have the right to negotiate or vary them, do you?