Ever Thought About A Career In Loan Sharking, A Booming Industry In Britain?

January 3, 2012

Ever Thought About A Career In Loan Sharking, A Booming Industry In Britain?

Ben Delicious writes from London: Have you thought of a career in loan sharking? No? Well you should, you know, because it is experiencing a serious boom in the land some people still call Great Britain. The beauty of the whole thing that you would no longer have to operate in the back alleys or dodgy drinking holes, oh no. You’ll be full- time legit, advertising yourself all over the place, pushing your message that taking out a short-term loan for a mere 4000 per cent interest is a great idea for people who find themselves seriously shot of funds. If they don’t miss the payment date that is. Because if they do, then it all gets messy and they end up owing several grand on a loan of several hundred in no time. And then their life hell becomes hell. Although of course the ads do not say... 

Check Your ‘Designer’ Wear. It’s Probably Mass Produced In China

January 1, 2012

Check Your ‘Designer’ Wear. It’s Probably Mass Produced In China

R.F.Wilson writes from London: Have you been bargain hunting this Christmas, burning plastic like’s there’s no tomorrow, looking for designer wear? You have, have you? And did you actually check where those clothes were made? You didn’t? In that case I’m afraid you were probably duped into buying some mass produced junk, made in China, India or Vietnam, mostly by slave labour. Let me remind you what the concept of designer wear actually stands for: exclusivity, first of all. Yes, top name designers were making clothes in the past in very small numbers, producing them in countries with a long tradition of excellent tailoring, like Italy, France and Britain, and selling them in boutiques – yes, small shops. That was the whole point of designer wear, when people could... 

Shopping As An Addiction: Buying Junk That You Don’t Need

December 22, 2011

Shopping As An Addiction: Buying Junk That You Don’t Need

Adam Lovejoy writes from London: What is it with people buying Chinese made junk that they don’t really need? Ok, I can understand the festive season when you have to buy presents for your next of kin, friends or work buddies, even though most of them would be thrown away or end up in charity shops. But why blow money on useless things that you could do without? I’ll be straight with you: I don’t like shopping and don’t like the way the retailers lure people with their phony deals, inflating prices on things that are not worth even a tenth of what they’re going for. Not to mention the overcrowding and the traffic congestion that are caused by hordes of shoppers descending on the high streets and shopping centres. Central London has become unbearable because of this artificially... 

Here’s A Great Idea For Christmas: Don’t Buy Any Junk This Year

December 12, 2011

Here’s A Great Idea For Christmas: Don’t Buy Any Junk This Year

R.F.Wilson writes from London: Are you one of those people who, though heavily in debt, still buy loads of useless presents and booze and tonnes of food for Christmas and New Year, thinking that it’s all makes sense somehow? You know, to forget your troubles and money worries for the festive season and hope that something will turn up next year and you’ll be alright. If so then you are the very people who are targeted every December by hacks, pushing their readers and viewers to shop till they drop, making all those sugary reports and writing all those articles about shoppers hunting for bargains in their millions with enthusiasm better suited for other occasions. And if you listen to them, the cash tills are ringing and huge amounts of money are being spent. It’s all rubbish of course,... 

King Gas To To Take Over The World. Natural Gas That Is, In Case You’re Wondering

November 22, 2011

King Gas To To Take Over The World. Natural Gas That Is, In Case You’re Wondering

Martin McCauley writes from Doha: Talks are taking place here that may change the world. Yep, that is how things are happening these days, with big decisions taken outside the former spheres of influence. The first meeting of a Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF) is under way in Doha. The idea of gas producers coming together to hike gas prices is as old as OPEC, the oil cartel. Russia came up with the suggestion in 2001 but it was only in Tehran in 2008 that a charter was agreed. Only the big boys of the gas world are members. Together they account for 70 per cent of world gas trade. The bad news for the West is that Iran has the second largest reserves of gas and oil on the planet. Sanctions so far have prevented Tehran monetising these reserves. If allowed to do so, it could cause no... 

The Mean Jungle Of Retail Trade. You’ve Got To Be On Your Guard To Survive

November 18, 2011

The Mean Jungle Of Retail Trade. You’ve Got To Be On Your Guard To Survive

Chris Gray writes from Paris: So, when you look at a price tag with 4.99 on it or 199.99 or even 999.99 how do you automatically register in your brain that 4.99 is actually 5 or that 199.99 is as close to 200 as it gets or that 999.99 is actually a grand? I doubt that you do, because the whole point of such pricing is to force you to notice the first digit and to assume that the price is actually lower than it really is. It’s called the mug’s effect in the retail trade and it’s one of the tricks of getting you interested in buying some Chinese made crap. The whole point of retail is to make you buy stuff, whether you need it or not. It’s all supposed to be about skilful marketing and promotion and not about price fixing and cheating to move the merchandise as quickly... 

Imagine If TV Ads Told It Like It Is. That Would Be Something, Wouldn’t It?

November 10, 2011

Imagine If TV Ads Told It Like It Is. That Would Be Something, Wouldn’t It?

R.F.Wilson writes from London: Imagine if TV advertisers told it like is and didn’t exaggerate or invent things when plugging products or services. Take the car ads, for example. Cheap trashy looking cars are advertised on the box as if they are some high powered flashy sports vehicles that make people stop on the streets, jaws dropped, watching them drive past, with some smiling idiot at the wheel and a chick beside him, pretending to have something close to an orgasm from their driving experience. It’s never like that in real life, is it? Small shitty cars with small engines and lack of leg space, or any other space for that matter, are not some desirable forms of transport for millions. Their only advantage is their low price and pretty much nothing else. And chicks don’t go berserk... 

Tricks That Newspapers Use. To Get People Interested

October 30, 2011

Tricks That Newspapers Use. To Get People Interested

R.F.Wilson writes from Fleet Street, London: Newspapers are in trouble – serious, serious trouble. Readership is falling, as more and more people either switch to the Internet or just stop caring about news and watching the news on the box, mostly while waiting for the sports results at the end of the bulletins. That is why newspapers are desperately trying to woo readers, offering all sorts of freebies, like DVD’s and CD’s and books and free cinema tickets. I personally could never understand the logic behind it: it’s a bit like acknowledging to the world that your newspaper is such s..t that an additional incentive is needed to make people buy it. And I’m not even mentioning numerous other offers and competitions inside: to win a dream holiday, a house on the... 

How’s Peddling Overpriced Junk That No One Needs A Proper Business?

October 27, 2011

How’s Peddling Overpriced Junk That No One Needs A Proper Business?

Adam Lovejoy writes from Paris: I’m going to have a go at retail trade, people. How is it a proper business, I would like to ask. It’s just a bunch of middlemen and women, selling stuff they buy for cheap abroad, in China or Vietnam or some other place where slave labour is in big fashion, and then attempt to sell it at inflated prices. The quality sucks, the colours are all wrong and the bloody things break or tear soon after you bring them home. And even the stores themselves nowadays look like giant warehouses, hastily made up to accommodate all that junk, with shop assistants on tiny salaries smiling insincerely at customers, asking them how their day’s been or some other rubbish. The vibe in these stores is so bad that you can even see it coming from the shitty goods sold in them. And... 

Would You Buy A Pack Of Used Condoms If It Were Plugged By An A-List Celeb? I Bet You Would

October 19, 2011

Would You Buy A Pack Of Used Condoms If It Were Plugged By An A-List Celeb? I Bet You Would

Adam Lovejoy writes from London: Would you buy a pack of used condoms if it were advertised on the box by some A-list celeb, like the Dalai Lama for example or actor George Clooney? Or would you fall for some catchy advertising campaign that promotes some junk that breaks on the second or third day, simply because you succumb to the constant bombardment of ad messages? I bet a lot of people would say ‘yes’ to both questions. There are so many suckers out there who fall for the most primitive of advertising tricks that it’s no wonder retail trade nowadays moves huge volumes of junk with no problem. Chinese made junk, I should add. Some of the nastiest people I’ve ever encountered worked in advertising. Basically, it’s a legitimised form of lying and you can get... 

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