Fake BBC

I felt that the programme I watched on T.V. last night – Fake Britain – was biased and unfair in the way it reported the sales of fake fish in Britain. I don’t normally have a problem with programmes that tell us of the myriad ways in which we are being ripped off, but last nights ‘fish’ report was downright misleading. 

First of all, I don’t doubt that tons and tons of fish is being sold in this country as ‘fish’ – unidentified by any other name. Well done BBC for pointing that  out – we really should care more about what we eat.

To prove their point, the BBC turned up a guy who had suffered anaphylactic shock from eating some kind of unidentified (until forensic laboratory examination had been performed on it by the BBC) Vietnamese fish IN A PUB RESTAURANT.  He’d assumed it would be cod because the pub served cod when he had worked there. Fair enough – the pub should tell the customer what kind of fish they are serving up, even if it has a weird name.

However, the programme then went on to investigate the misrepresentation of fish IN FISH AND CHIP SHOPS. As far as I remember, they visited seven shops in north Wales and found one to be serving haddock, when the investigator had asked for cod. So what! The poor shopkeeper agreed that she hadn’t told the investigator the fish would be haddock (she sold haddock because it is slightly cheaper than cod) and the programme highlighted this fault as if she (and by implication all of the fish and chip shops in north Wales) were child molesters. In reality, they didn’t find the problem of fake fish in any of the shops visited – but they implication was that they did. That was pure misinterpretation of the facts.

The report would have been fairer if it had followed up on the tons of far east Asian fish sold in pubs and pub restaurants – rather than fish and chip shops. I wonder if that was because the pubs are owned by massively influential pub-chains and the fish and chip shops (usually) owned by less influential individuals. 

Shame on you BBC. You used to provide balanced reports. This was rubbish.

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(un) Acceptable spam

We all hate spam don’t we? Don’t we?

Just like all of the junk mail that drops through our letter box at home, the spam we receive in our email inbox and the spurious comments made on our blogs, fill us with a mild annoyance. 

The junk mail goes in the bin and the spam gets deleted – it’s just a short time out of our lives, but time with which we could very well be doing something more useful. Or, at the very least – time which the spam sender has stolen that we might otherwise count as ‘our time’.

But what about those emails we all get from the likes of Amazon (please rate your recent purchase) or Linked-In (such and such a ‘friend’ wants to ..)? They are spam too you know! Unlike (e.g.) Martin’s Money Tips and Tesco, I haven’t specifically asked Amazon or Linked-In to send me emails (often on a daily basis), their emails are uninvited.

However, I play the game by deleting about 50% of their emails and responding to the rest.

But no more!

Amazon recently asked me to rate an earlier purchase – fair enough. This would be one of the latter 50%, where I played the ‘social’ game. I was asked to tick a ‘star’ list on the email and instead of just accepting my choices there and then it took me off to a page on the Amazon web site. Here there were a series of questions to be star-scored 1-5: Again, fair enough.

But then there was also a comment box and it wouldn’t let me leave the page without making a comment. Being fair for the final time: I didn’t want to leave a comment, that would be a minute of my time too much – and at the end of the day, given that I’d given each of the previous four questions a (5) = ‘brilliant’, it would only be blowing more smoke up the vendor’s arse – which I have no wish to do. They, the vendors, don’t really concern me that much – they are shopkeepers, no more than that, I don’t write to W.H.Smith (M&S, Boots, Poundland etc.) and tell them they are wonderful – why should I do that for someone who sells me stuff through Amazon.

Linked-In are always sending emails telling me that such and such a person wants me to be their friend – but then when I click yes I’m taken to the web site where another five minutes of my time is wasted trying to see the relevance of the aforesaid email. STOP. I’ll visit the site and tidy up my contacts etc. when I feel like it!

And finally, when did the science behind advertising change from; ‘annoy the customer and they will not buy’ – to – ‘annoy the customer and they are sure to buy’? 

Why do the web robots think that because you searched for something back in 2011, bought that thing, did that thing and blogged about it in 2012, that you might never have heard of it? The Coeur de France is all over my laptop like a rash! Everything I open on the ‘net has an advert for them. STOP, I’ve been.  The same with Amazon (again), why do they advertise (via spam emails) the same thing I bought last week, as if I’d never seen it/them? STOP.

(oh and I’m now getting adverts for Gites in France that I’ve already seen – )

Picture credit (Tin of Spam) – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/519906069/ [Thanks for using creative commons]