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Rumours… February 28, 2013

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Economy.
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Not sure how many of you heard about this, but a week or two ago someone told me that the Gift Voucher Shop, part of An Post, had gone to the wall. You may know them better as One4All vouchers which can be spent in a broad range of shops. As the SBP reported:

The rumour earlier this month that the Gift Voucher Shop – a subsidiary of An Post and behind the One4all brand – was going into examinership was untrue, but it took a significant amount of disproving by the marketing team, and an unplanned marketing spend of €250,000. “It was – and is – costly, but we’re prepared to invest and committed to keeping it going,” said Aoife Garvey, group marketing manager for Britain and Ireland. The Gift Voucher Shop ran an exhaustive PR campaign in the immediate aftermath, complemented by print and TV advertising.

To be honest I was sceptical – as a part of An Post if the company had collapsed then it would seem to presage something a lot more widespread and worse. The first thing I did was check out the Gift Voucher Shop website which pointed out that the rumour was untrue and that the vouchers are regulated under EU rules. The company itself – naturally – took it very seriously.

In closely monitoring the volume of online conversation about the rumour, Garvey and her marketing team (of seven) watched interest in the veracity of the rumour peak on Thursday evening, but peter out over the weekend.
“We ran a press campaign that weekend, with a number of full-page ads in national media,” she said.
“We had obviously reached out to our own database of corporate clients and so forth, but we needed to do more to get the regulated and secure nature of our product out to a broader, quite fragmented audience.”

What got me was that it took a moment to go to their website and discover that the rumour was incorrect. And presumably all those online who were spreading the rumour could do likewise. But they apparently didn’t. Sort of depressing in a way.

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