Talking Targetgate on ABC 936 Hobart

ABC logoEarlier this week Target Australia announced that it was pulling Grand Theft Auto V from its shelves after an online petition gathered 41,000 signatures protesting the game’s depictions of violence against women. “Targetgate” soon became the label, of course — and it stuck even when Kmart Australia followed suit.

On Thursday I discussed the issue with Louise Saunders on ABC 936 Hobart, covering much the same territory as journalist Alex Kidman did in his opinion piece at Fat Duck Tech.

This is obviously a complex issue, especially in the wake of the continuing Gamergate furore, but because I’d previously discussed Gamergate on Download This Show, I felt reasonably well-prepared. I’m told I skirted around the edge of the rabbit hole without going down it.

I’d be interested to know whether you agree.

Play

The audio is ©2014 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Stopping the junk mail flood 2

It’s a month since I complained about advertising being inserted to my “no advertising material” mailbox. How that’s gone?

The good news is that immediately following PMP Distribution chastising their walker there was a significant drop in unaddressed advertising material, perhaps to only half what there was before. Good. But there’s still plenty of “bad corporate citizens” who I’ll now name, and a few businesses who failed to respond.

First, kudos to David Jones and their distributors PMP Distribution, and also to MiniMovers and Marrickville Metro (AMP Capital Shopping Centres), who responded promptly and dealt with the problem. Well done.

A slap on the wrist to Domino’s Pizza; Go Green Insulation; Kmart; and Raine & Horne Marrickville, all of whom didn’t even acknowledge my email enquiry. Pathetic.

An especially big slap to Kmart, since your website contact form sent me an email which said:

We value your feedback, and wish to advise that the matter you have raised has been referred to one of our Customer Relations Representatives who will be in contact with you in the near future.

I didn’t bother chasing Cavellis Woodfire Pizzeria, Cut & Save Tree Service, or Papaya Thai Eatery since they didn’t list email addresses.

Now, the new bad apples…

This month’s rude pricks are: Broadway Shopping Centre; De Sousa Real Estate (who also camouflaged their advertising to look like a hand-written note); Domino’s Pizza (again! twice!); Franklins & Family Supermarkets; Marrickville First National Real Estate; Mountain Designs; Prestige Cleaning Specialists; Raine & Horne Marrickville (again!); Ray White Newtown (another real estate agent!).

I’ll be in touch with all of these businesses to give them a chance to respond. And, since real estate agents feature so prominently in this list, I’ll be asking the REIA whether they consider this to be acceptable behaviour.

We also got a message from beyondblue, but since that’s not advertising but a public health message about depression I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Keep up the good work.

Stopping the junk mail flood

Photograph of our broken brick fence and letterbox

OK, some time on the weekend someone broke the brick wall which supports our letterbox. It wasn’t us. But given the poor behaviour of the junk mail merchants, who could blame us?

Despite the presence of a “No Junk Mail” sticker and the more recent addition of Marrickville council’s own “No Advertising Material” sticker, advertisers continue to shove their things into our box. So I’ve decided to name and shame.

This week’s advertisers who failed to follow this basic piece of etiquette are: Cavellis Woodfire Pizzeria; Cut & Save Tree Service; David Jones; Domino’s Pizza; Go Green Insulation; Kmart; MiniMovers; Papaya Thai Eatery; Raine & Horne Marrickville.

Now I do know that in Australia these stickers have no legal force — unlike online, where the Spam Act 2003 provides stricter rules. But if someone communicates a polite request not to receive a catalog, and the first thing you do is give them the catalog anyway… well, is that really a good marketing message?

I’ve also noticed over time that real estate agents are particularly prominent in our junk mail. What is it about these overpaid pricks?

I’ll be inviting each of these advertisers to respond.

[Update 9.15am: Missed one: Marrickville Metro (AMP Capital Shopping Centres). They’re another company that’s big enough to know better.]