Posts Tagged ‘PR’

Academic McMotivation

December 9, 2007

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ad jacketResponding to criticism about it’s report-card promo in Florida’s Seminole County, fast-food giant McDonalds insists that it’s motives are entirely honourable. As opposed to a crass marketing campaign?

The campaign consists of a Happy Meal coupon, a cartoon of the chain’s Ronald McDonald brand mascot, the golden arches logo, and photos of Happy Meal menu items – all printed on the cover of a report-card jacket at the corporation’s expense ($1,600 for the 2007-2008 school year). Children who present their report cards to the local restaurant are entitled to receive a free Happy Meal, provided that they’ve scored As and Bs, have exhibited good behaviour or have had two or fewer absences.

(more…)

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Regulating Gift Cards

December 6, 2007

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You’ve got to wonder if these exemptions are just another case of industry lobbyists overriding the interests of consumers.
(source: Bruce Cran; Consumers Assoc.)

Ontario Consumer Protection Act changes took effect 2007/10/01. Prior to that, the McGuinty Liberals heralded the coming changes. But now they’re strangely quiet about the loopholes.

Under the new rules, gift cards can’t be sold with a transaction fee, can’t expire, and shoppers can’t be penalized if they don’t spend their credit immediately.

But… shopping malls are excempted for now. And loyalty cards (where you accumulate points), and prepaid phone cards…

Links:
2007/05/29 – CTV: Ontario government bans gift card expiry dates
2007/05/29 – City News: Ontario Sets Day For End Of Gift Card Expiry Dates
2007/11/14 – Toronto Star: Unredeemed gift cards a present for retailers
2007/12/05 – Globe&Mail: Some Ontario gift-card loopholes…
2007/12/06 – CBC: Gift card exemption riles critics

Khalil Ramal’s PR BS

September 4, 2007
FlickOffLiberals graphic
pig pic
Pigs at the Trough

Notwithstanding the fact that the election writ hasn’t been dropped and this is therefore legal, I find it distasteful that London-Fanshawe Liberal MPP Khalil Ramal’s office just sent out a full-colour glossy 5.5″ x 8.5″ PR postcard.

The justification from politicians for these things (and politicians of EVERY political stripe do it) is that it’s to keep their constituents updated about what’s going on. But, come on… how informative are they, ever? Truth is, these things are mainly taxpayer-funded PR pieces. The intent is to raise the politician’s name recognition, the biggest single factor in electoral success.

What I find most objectionable about this mailout, is the attempt to portray Ramal as somebody who is responsive to his constituents because he was “moved” by a purportedly oxycontin-influenced double-suicide and thereafter “introduced a private member’s bill to monitor the prescription of drugs like this one.”

Tugs at your heart strings, doesn’t it? I’m sure that it’s meant to.

Well, I’m another one of Ramal’s constituents. How responsive has he been to me?

To begin with, he didn’t demonstrate any respect for my democratic rights when I tried to contest the last municipal election and ran into a roadblock by ODSP and asked him for assistance. Apparently, that didn’t bother him at all.

Ask yourself this question… If Mr. Ramal doesn’t have any respect for the democratic rights of other citizens (and the right to participate in the democratic process is about as fundamental as it gets), then does Mr. Ramal have any moral right to hold public office himself?

Another example. I’ve been very active trying to promote pedestrian rights and speaking out about pedestrian safety issues. I was instrumental in having London police do a study about the intersection at Commissioners/Pond Mills, which is in the riding that Mr. Ramal represents. It’s one of those “channelized” intersections which are becoming increasingly popular with city engineers, and they’re characterized by rounded corners and pedestrian “islands.” In the study, London police confirm that this design is dangerous to pedestrians. Has Mr. Ramal shown any concern about this? Has he discussed the situation with the city? According to my recent Freedom of Information appeal, the answer is NO. Has he responded to me? The answer is NO.

I’ll give him credit for this though… he doesn’t seem to miss very many photo op’s.

Links:

http://www.londontopic.ca/article.php?artid=4798
http://www.altlondon.org/article.php?story=20070904084207978