Consumers seek to flout rules of sales promotions

promotionsMarketers are being warned to be vigilant as consumers may increasingly flout sales promotions rules in a bid to cope with tightening fin-ances, according to industry experts.

It is expected that fraudulent behaviour among consumers, such as entering competitions several times, will rise as pressure on spending increases further.

Neil Barnes, managing director at Enable, a company that oversees the logistics and compliance of sales promotions and competitions, says the next six month will be crucial in the sales promotions markets and marketers should be vigilant against such behaviour.

Jeremy Stern, managing director of PromoVeritas, which has handled promotions for clients including Coca-Cola, Shell and Unilever, adds that as more people enter promotions there will be greater incidences of consumers flouting the rules, such as entering more than once, unless marketers and their agencies demand proof of identification from winners.

He adds: “For example, you can walk out of an Orange retail store with a free SIM card that gives you free texts. If you have ten of them then you’re adding the number of times you could win, even though you can only enter once.

“People recognise there is easy money to be made. Promoters have a lack of interest in a promotion once it has gone to bed and brand mangers are not concerned whether a competition has been won legitimately.”

Industry experts say the other concern for marketers will be the increasing redemption of coupons offered in newspapers. Stern says his company’s own research has found that supermarkets and convenience stores are disregarding the brands that coupons are made for and simply give consumers discounts off their total shopping bills regardless of what they purchase.

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