Postmortem of is no use now

Crikey! E-tailing and e-mailing are taking a bit of a bashing this week (MW May 25) with items on the failure of capped by Stephen Archer berating recruiters for not responding to his e-mails in the letters section.

But, if I might say so, it’s all a bit like Harry Enfield’s “Only Me” character, whose catchphrase is: “I don’t think you wanted to do that.”

If half the insinuations are true, was about as well managed as Mirror Group’s pension fund used to be. Not an e-commerce problem at all – just a problem with letting the bright sparks from NPD run the company. The e-commerce effect was merely “smoke and mirrors” that blinded JP Morgan to a “find the lady” business plan.

Whatever the case, pointing these things out now is just laughing as the hearse goes by.

What would have been useful is for Marketing Week to have pointed out the obvious failings before the company went down.

Being as athletic as the average market researcher and as trendy as George Pitcher’s picture suggests he is, I’d never visited Had I been told that the site wouldn’t work with Apple Macintoshes (a minority platform, yes, but less so on the Net and much less so in e-commerce – and retailers shouldn’t bar any minorities), I for one would have heard warning bells.

And if we’d been told of the champagne and five-star lifestyle enjoyed by the directors (in a start-up!) I think many people would have been considerably less surprised at the fall.

I love e-commerce. I sit here next to my Aerostich motorcycle suit ($600 well e-spent) and a $125 Nolan crash hat (e-commerce versus &£200 in Motorcycle City). I used to get the weekly shopping from Sainsbury’s Orderline. I want e-commerce to flourish.

And I think Marketing Week should be doing less cheerful dancing on’s (deserved?) grave and spend more time informing about the growth of e-tailing in the UK and warning against its pitfalls.

In this proactive spirit, Sainsbury’s, fix your blasted e-commerce website! It has far too much in common with’s site (redundant effects and graphics waste time and won’t fly on a Mac). That’s why I’m now shopping at my local Tesco and not e-buying from Sainsbury’s.

Mark Hodson

Market Research Manager


Battersea, London

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here