31 Jan


I can’t bloody find it anywhere. I’ve been searching for that horror show Amazon TV ad, showing just how happy their staff are and encouraging Joe Public to visit their ‘fulfillment centres’ (otherwise known as warehouses, or depots, to you and I).
It’s not on YouTube or any other platform.

Oh well, I’ll briefly describe it to you: it features apparently happy staff saying what they love about working for Amazon (‘I love the flexible working hours’… ‘I can do a four-day week’ etc), before encouraging you to ‘see for yourself’ how well they treat staff, by visiting one of their facilities.

It’s about as genuine as a Prince Andrew apology. It’s horrendous.

1. The ‘staff’ are clearly paid actors (or possibly real staff who’ve been bunged a few quid), with lines to deliver.
2. You wouldn’t make this kind of ad unless you were painfully aware that you had an image problem, with the general public, in terms of how you treat staff.
3. In light of point no.2, it looks desperate.
4. Why would I want to tour a warehouse?
5. Will I get to speak to any staff on this tour, to ask what working conditions are like?
6. Amazon will obviously limit what I see on my warehouse tour: I’ll see what they allow me to see… only certain areas of the warehouse, happy staff etc.

In short, I think this ad is so disingenuous that it’s more damaging than just keeping quiet. 

And this is not far off:

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 10.39.15

Yes, it’s clearly a good thing that Sainsbury’s are reducing their carbon emissions and reducing waste, but they haven’t done it out of the goodness of their heart. If they had, they wouldn’t be spending north of £40k (if not more) on a double-page spread in a daily newspaper.
I bet you any money that Morrison’s, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose, Lidl, Aldi are all trying to reduce their carbon emissions and reduce waste – they just haven’t taken out a whopping great ad shouting about it… yet.

Sainsbury’s aren’t doing all of this just because they’re nice – they’re doing it because large retailers have to be seen to be doing something about climate change. They’re doing it because it’s what the public – their customers (and potential customers) – want to see.
Don’t give me ‘We can’t live well if the planet isn’t’ – this ad is just about getting more customers through the door as Sainbury’s are such a ‘green’ company now.

Want to see how to appear genuine in your quest for goodness?

Screenshot 2020-01-31 at 10.39.55

Reading this, it’s an initiative that helps the homeless first – through the charity Julian House – and something achieved with the help of Nationwide second.

The focus is more on the issue of homelessness and the technology used to raise funds – Nationwide simply act as a conduit to donations, lingering in the background of this article.

True, it’s only being trialled at one branch, but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be rolled out across the country, for various charities.

But Nationwide aren’t shouting about it: they haven’t taken out a double-page spread and they haven’t produced a TV ad. This has just been quietly released to press outlets, and Nationwide appear genuine – in offering their help – as a result.

Sometimes it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.
Maybe, if genuinely concerned, Amazon should improve working conditions for staff (and engage with unions) instead of making a phoney TV ad which simply serves to make them look guilty.
Maybe Sainsbury’s should just crack on and plough the money they’re spending on double-page press ads back into further reducing their emissions instead.

Disingenuousness – irritating.

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