Archive for category corporations

McDonald’s faces backlash in Tecoma, Australia

Protesters say nine out of 10 people in Tecoma do not want the McDonald’s

A long-running feud has pitted protesters from a small town of 2,000 people in the shadows of Australia’s temperate rainforest against one of the world’s most recognisable brands.

Tranquil Tecoma, 35km (20 miles) east of central Melbourne, has become a battleground between McDonald’s and “community” protesters over the construction of a 24-hour drive-through restaurant.

Opponents say the restaurant would be too close to a nursery and primary school, would damage other businesses and disrupt the fabric of a leafy community known for its artists and wildlife.

The plan was initially rejected by the local council, but the fast-food giant won an appeal at a state planning tribunal, and work on the site is under way.

It’s been a two-and-a-half-year fight spanning two continents.

Last month, campaigners delivered a petition containing 97,000 signatures to the company’s global headquarters in Chicago.

Looking for a ‘tree change’

“We knocked on the door of every house in Tecoma and we discovered that nine out of 10 people didn’t want this,” says Garry Muratore, a spokesman for No McDonald’s in the Dandenong Ranges, who denies the group is on an anti-corporate crusade.

“They have the legal right, but they don’t have the moral right.

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Not only… but also

Not only is the government spying on you, so is your supermarket!

How supermarkets get your data – and what they do with it

It doesn’t matter if you are part of a loyalty scheme, pay by card or even cash, ‘Big Brother’ supermarkets know your every move

Illustration: Jonathan Edwards

We all know supermarkets use information about our shopping habits to target us with personalised vouchers and offers – but how would you feel about sitting down to watch a movie and being confronted with adverts based on what was in your shopping trolley a few hours earlier?

Or what would you think about Tesco using its Clubcard database to check what you are eating, and possibly offering vouchers for salad and fruit if your basket is usually groaning with unhealthy items?

These are just two of the ways the supermarket giants are planning to make use of the data they gather on us.

For every loyalty point or coupon that Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the like dish out, they gobble up a huge amount of information about our shopping habits. We are all familiar with targeted offers linked to loyalty cards, but you might be surprised at the amount of data the big retailers collect on all of their shoppers – and even potential customers – and what they do with it.

If you have opted out of taking out a loyalty card because you don’t want “Big Brother in your shopping basket”, then too bad, because the supermarkets also track debit and credit card payment data and till receipts – so someone, somewhere, knows about that bottle of wine you bought at 12.28pm on Tuesday, and that you recently switched your brand of athlete’s foot cream.

How do the supermarkets use this data?

If you have a loyalty card or shop online, the supermarkets will build up a demographic profile of you, and collect data about how loyal you are, what you buy and how much you spend, says Guy Montague-Jones of The Grocer.

They can then change what you see when you log in to make it easier to find the products their data suggests you will buy, and in-store they will use their data to make decisions about what they sell.

For example, Sainsbury’s discovered that a cereal brand called Grape-Nuts was worth stocking – despite weak sales – because the shoppers who bought it were extremely loyal to Sainsbury’s and often big spenders.

Tesco plans to use Clubcard data to target specific foods at customers. Photograph: Joe Fox/Alamy

Last month the supermarket giant announced it was taking full control of Sainsbury’s Bank by buying the 50% it didn’t already own – partly because its data showed that after taking out a bank product, Sainsbury’s shoppers became more loyal and spent more in-store.

Tesco, meanwhile, is using data about what its 16 million Clubcard holders buy in its stores to serve targeted ads to online users of its new free movie service, Clubcard TV. Launched in March, this streaming site also offers TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex, and is available to anyone with a computer and a broadband connection.

But in order to tune in, you have to register your Clubcard number and postcode. Clubcard TV director Scott Deutrom boasted on his blog that “we can target adverts based on what our customers bought yesterday” (a Tesco spokesperson later claimed this was just “a vision” at the moment).

A few days ago it emerged Tesco also plans to use its Clubcard data to tackle obesity, and “wants to see whether customers would welcome tailored suggestions for how they could shop more healthily” – which could mean vouchers for healthier products or suggested recipes (customers would need to opt in, it says).

What if you haven’t given the supermarkets your personal details?

Even if you haven’t handed over your details and product preferences through a loyalty scheme, it’s likely you have used a debit or credit card to pay for your shopping at some point – and this is another way that the supermarkets can track what we buy.

“We know that an anonymised card number paid for a particular basket of groceries one week and how much was spent with the same card number the following week,” says a Morrisons spokesperson. “It means we know when customers are lapsing because we won’t see their card for a week. We use it to measure the effectiveness of promotions and events.”

When asked whether its customers give permission for their card numbers to be tracked in this way, the supermarket says customers “would only need to opt in” if Morrisons intended to send them any form of communication.

“All the large grocers track payment cards in this way,” says Matthew Harrop at data analysis firm emnos. “All your till receipts are linked together using either a known customer identifier – or anonymously in the absence of a loyalty card – to analyse what you’re buying and how loyal you are.”

Waitrose and Asda also admit analysing aggregated payment card data to monitor “customer shopping patterns” (for example, items purchased) over time. Both stress this is common practice in the retail industry and that card numbers are not connected to an individual or an address. Sainsbury’s and Tesco say they do not track or monitor their customers’ payment cards.

The supermarkets also want to find out what their customers are doing outside their stores. Waitrose, for example, paid data analytics firm Beyond Analysis to use “aggregated and anonymised data” about shoppers’ Visa card transactions to help it decide on new store locations.

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Shell is embarrassed, and rightly so!

Shell suffers embarrassing shareholder rebellion over executive pay

Bonus awarded to outgoing chief executive Peter Voser prompts 8% of shareholders to vote against remuneration policy

Peter Voser, chief executive of Shell, was awarded a £2.8m bonus after a year in which the company lost £1.05bn. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

Shell suffered an embarrassing 10% shareholder rebellion against its executive pay report on Tuesday.

Almost 8% of the investor base voted against the company’s remuneration policy, which handed its outgoing chief executive Peter Voser a €3.3m (£2.8m) cash bonus in a year when profits dropped by $1.6bn (£1.05bn) to $27bn.

A further 2% of investors abstained from the vote at Shell’s annual meeting in The Hague.

The bonus took Voser’s total salary package to €5.1m, down from €5.2m the previous year, although this is still more than double the $2.7m package given to BP boss Bob Dudley last year. Dudley received no bonus as the company continues to deal with the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

At the meeting, Voser refused to comment on the European commission investigation into claims oil companies have been rigging the price of oil and petrol for more than a decade.

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Opinion:

If the company makes a loss, then there is no way in hell the executives involved should receive a bonus.

They should be jailed for incompetence.

Or better yet, have the losses recovered from their salaries.

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Bill Oddie’s BankWatch

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This should be illegal!

atargetReblogged from: Harsh Reality

I am not a conspiracy theorist which is why I am not intentionally using italics to make this feel more mysterious… anyhow tonight we were in Target shopping.  We were actually in the garden section which had some great outdoor furniture sales. So we are walking down the aisle and [beep beep] I get a email. The email is from Target for a 30% Outdoor Furniture and Easter Sweets Sale! I had just picked up two bags of Reeses peanute butter cups (I don’t eat sweets much but I love Reeses) and put them in the cart. Big brother is watching…

-OM

Interesting.

via Interesting.

Opinion:

This is an invasion of privacy.

Stores using this method of attacking shoppers should be taken to task over the practice.

The problem is there are not enough laws that cover the rape of the shopper by the corporations; so therefore, it’s not illegal.

But it should be!

If any store tried this on me, I’d be straight to the management, and tell him why I am abandoning my shopping cart in the middle of the store and leaving and not returning.

I have already done this in supermarkets that simply don’t have the products I want.

Sadly too many people accept this bullshit!

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Google shopping adverts fuel ivory trade

Conservation group warns

Environmental Investigation Agency says ads fuel surge in ivory demand that is killing African elephants at record rates

A woman looks at two elephant tusks in a window of a jewelry shop in Bangkok, Thailand, as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species meeting continues. Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA

Google is helping to fuel a dramatic surge in ivory demand in Asia that is killing African elephants at record levels, a conservation group claimed on Tuesday.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said there are some 10,000 ads on Google Japan’s shopping site that promote the sale of ivory.

About 80% of the ads are for “hanko,” small wooden stamps widely used in Japan to affix signature seals to official documents. The rest are carvings and other small objects.

Hanko are used for everything from renting a house to opening a bank account. The stamps are legal and typically inlaid with ivory lettering.

The EIA said Japan’s hanko sales are a “major demand driver for elephant ivory (and) have contributed to the wide-scale resumption of elephant poaching across Africa.”

Google said in an emailed response: “Ads for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on Google. As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them.”

The EIA said it had written a letter to Google chief executive, Larry Page, on 22 February, urging the company to remove the ads because they violate Google’s own policies. It said Google had not responded to the letter or taken down the advertisements.

“While elephants are being mass slaughtered across Africa to produce ivory trinkets, it is shocking to discover that Google, with the massive resources it has at its disposal, is failing to enforce its own policies designed to help protect endangered elephants,” said Allan Thorton, the US-based president of the EIA.

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Hard to Believe

It’s Cheaper to Fly to the US to Buy Adobe CS6 Than to Buy it In Australia

Here’s a crazy fact that’s making the rounds on the Internet: if you live in Australia, it’s currently cheaper for you to fly to the US and back to purchase a copy of Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection than to purchase it in your own country.

Gizmodo reported yesterday that the CS6 Master Collection currently carries an official MSRP of $2,599 in the States, but carries a crazy price tag of $4,334 in Australia.

That’s a not-so-small difference of $1,735.

News.com.au looked up current ticket prices, and found that you can take a trip to Los Angeles from Sydney on Virgin Australia for $1147.58. So basically, instead of shelling out over four grand for the box set in Australia, you can take a vacation to the US, pick up a copy of the software while you’re here, and fly back home — and still save hundreds of dollars (and pick up some airline miles, to boot).

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