Amongst other economic doom and gloom I could be writing about today I just wanted to take a moment to rant about the rampant dishonesty in corporate communications.

HMV aren’t doing all that well, for example. Here, have a pretty picture from the BBC:

So this month they’re trying out a 25% off sale instead of multibuys.

HMV said the sole reason for the sale was to provide customer value.

Except it’s not, is it? It’s to attempt to generate a boost in sales amidst falling profits. I’ve got no problem with them doing it for the money, they’re not a charity after all, but who on Earth is going to read that and be fooled?

The people stupid enough to take them at face value, if they exist, wouldn’t have read this and everyone else knows for a fact that it’s bullshit.

During my degree marketing was taught as a way of trying to inform people of products that suit their needs. Except of course it was clear that such things were frivolous nonsense. The point was to generate wants and desires in order to drive sale.

Amusingly though I’ve been spoiled by Steam sales – I see 25% off and think “That’s all?”. It’s really not very much. If I wouldn’t buy something for £20 I’m not shelling out £15 either.

On the other hand FTL: Faster Than Light will currently only cost you £3.49 as it’s 50% off until the 14th.

That’s not even a particularly steep discount by Steam standards. Spec Ops: The Line was only a fiver yesterday, 75% off. There’s not even a big sale on! 25% off by contrast is kinda pitiful. The thing being that if high street retailers did slash prices like Steam did on occasion then a 25% off sale could actually be construed as a way to provide customer value – the purchases you were going to make anyway won’t cost you quite as much now, as it were.

They could have spun it as “We’d love to give you 80% off but we can’t afford to, we hope 25% will help a little though”. Sure, it’s not entirely honest but it at least covers why the sale is so comparatively meagre.

Maybe I’ll pop in to take a look at all the things I can’t afford…

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