UK Politics not governed by advertising standards

Given the controversy of claim and counterclaim during the UK referendum on membership of the EU it’s interesting to see the difference between selling products and services and selling political ideas.

Aldi recently fell foul of the Advertising Standards Authority on an issue about claims they made about potential customer savings. 


The Advertising standards authority state in their codex under section 7.1 that.

Claims in marketing communications, whenever published or distributed, whose principal function is to influence voters in a local, regional, national or international election or referendum are exempt from the Code.

Regardless of any ruling like 7.1 above that might be modified the ASA states its mission is to provide marketing communication rules that mean:

advertising must be responsible, must not mislead, or offend 

What do you make of that?

The limitations of personality tests for advertisers

Sheffield Business School Student shows just how to create blog on serious topics engaging


Gray (2015) states that the personality testing industry is worth $2 billion. Whoever invented the initial personality test would now be like


When it comes to advertising and targeting potential customers, personality tests may have several limitations. As I explained in my previous blog, personality tests sometimes do not always prove to be accurate. Giang (2013) implies that the test results can sometimes be flawed because respondents may answer how they think you want them to, so you do not have a true representation of their personality. This not only wastes time, it wastes a LOT of an advertiser’s money if they are advertising a product towards someone how would not dream of buying it, but said they would in a test.

If this is the case, an advertiser might as well just do a Leonardo and throw their money away!


Another limitation according to Burnett (2013) is the limited answer…

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I am not here to satisfy you: the NSS and our institutional knickers

A fascinating post.

Julie Cupples

The neoliberal endeavour to convert university students into consumers is underpinned by a survey culture that is constantly attempting to measure a thing called ‘student satisfaction’. It’s part of the way universities compete with one another and manufacture what is termed the ‘student experience’. In the neoliberal academy, students, faculty and staff are constantly surveyed, a phenomenon that a New Zealand academic has recently described as a tyranny that may “degrade student achievement” and “harm staff” (Heinemann 2015). If you borrow an interloan, ask IT to fix a software issue on your computer, or order sandwiches for a meeting from the preferred corporate supplier, you’re then likely to be sent a survey to assess the level of customer satisfaction with the service. It’s tedious but fortunately most of them can be quickly ignored and deleted. But the survey that seems to produce a bizarre level of managerial emphasis and…

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Do Barclays Life Skills Work?

The recent Barclays life skills adverts have got me thinking. Are we able as human beings able to cut past appearance and impression, park it, and make a realistic assessment of the worthiness of another person who we might want to employ? Or are we so hard wired that we depend on shortcuts and inferences for all social judgements?

How soon will it be before these once privileged insights into ‘how to look’ , ‘how to talk’ and where to look’ for best effect during personal interactions become commodity insights that end up making no difference at all because we all do them?

Erm…I wonder what will be offered as the next interpersonal differentiator?

Pinning your hopes on a trick of social psychology I reckon is pretty risky. My research suggests as well as the Barclay tips people have to demonstrate their eligibility and credibility in other ways.

Things such as experience and expertise; technical specialism, an ability to read social situations, knowledge of a market, sector or genre, commercial maturity, pro-social values to name a few.

Trouble is these things don’t make for quick performance tips they are often hard won by experience and investment in learning. So sure, make use of Barclays life skills (…really? skills for life now that’s a big claim) in the knowledge that many other things are stress tested in any interview too.

Plagiarism in higher education: advancing your knowledge or advancing your career

The recent case of the allegation of plagiarism against US senator Joe Walsh reveals the unintended albeit to be expected consequences of smudging together academic with career achievement.

Many organisations are socially constructed to unthinkingly promote ‘competition’ as the mantra for success. This favours the style and ambition of self serving individuals.

In that world plagiarism is ‘just another way of getting on’. Here we have a clash of ‘orders of interaction’ (cf Goffman 1959) where the norms and values of some corporate/political social settings clash with the norms and values expected in higher education.

Leaders might consider how to balance the need to compete with the values of honesty and humility?


Tesco boss Philip Clarke to leave

From the BBC website

Dave Lewis brings a wealth of international consumer experience and expertise in change management, business strategy, brand management and customer development.”

I wonder what comes first management practice or business school ‘speak’ about how managers think they should talk about their practice?

What if below par performance is in someway related to the organisations and structures that come from the confines of management speak?

What if there is something other than brand management and change management that makes a difference?

What if business leaders realised the assumptions upon which conventional management speak is built and the consequences of those assumptions for running (nearly wrote ruining) businesses?

How about attention to customer selectivity rather than the goods dominant mantra of differentiation? How about Value Proposing capability instead of the mantra Brand Management? How about Using Imagination instead of the mantra of Customer Development?

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