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Dublin’s Q102 launches ‘Ignore That Store’ campaign

We received this press release earlier this week – a campaign by the Dublin station Q102 against the dual pricing and exaggerated sterling to euro price conversion rates.

We in ValueIreland.com have always advocated that consumers should always vote with their wallets when it comes to where to spend their money. While it’s great to see a campaign of any kind to raise awareness of consumers, ignoring a store completely might not be completely in the interests of consumers.

As an example, what if a particular store that is “named and shamed” actually provides the best value going on a particular item – cheapest in the country. There’s no reason why consumers should ignore the whole store. Ignore the expensive items by all means, but take advantage of the value – wherever it’s available.

Dublin’s Q102 launches ‘Ignore That Store’ campaign to name and shame retail outlets who mark up prices when converting from sterling to euro

‘Ignore That Store’ initiative launched in conjunction with The Consumers’ Association of Ireland

Free Christmas advertising campaign on Dublin’s Q102 promised to first store which undertakes to convert sterling to euro accurately

Tuesday, 25 November 2008                For immediate release

‘On The QT’, the flagship current affairs programme on radio station Dublin’s Q102, in conjunction with The Consumers’ Association of Ireland, has launched a new innovative on-air campaign called ‘Ignore that Store’. The campaign is naming and shaming the many retail outlets that are ripping off consumers by marking up prices when converting sterling to euro on labels.

‘On the QT’, which is presented by Scott Williams, has discovered that certain stores are overcharging consumers by astronomical mark up’s when it comes to converting sterling prices to euro prices, in some cases by as much as 45%. In addition, some stores are going as far as blacking out the original sterling prices or ripping the sterling tag off in a bid to cover up the incorrect conversion rates.

Since announcing the campaign, ‘On the QT’ on Dublin’s Q102 has been inundated with texts, e-mails and calls from concerned listeners naming shops who are exploiting customers with unfair prices. Dublin’s Q102 has also visited some of the shops repeatedly mentioned by listeners to check their conversion rate, and found that many items were marked considerably higher than the actual sterling price shown.

Below are samples of the e-mails sent by listeners to ‘On the QT’ offering their support for ‘Ignore That Store’:

  • “My partner went to Claires Accessories to buy 2 baby headbands at 2 pounds sterling, and was asked for 7.60. I brought them back. Total rip off. Thanks for highlighting this.”
  • “I saw a dress in M&S for 105 euro, it was however only 55 sterling. That’s a huge mark up.”
  • “I was in Monsoon in Liffey Valley last night and was bowled over to see that a dress, marked £180 sterling was being sold here for 280 euro – disgraceful, Name & Shame!”

The ‘Ignore That Store’ project has already garned support from politicians across all parties including:

  • Chris Andrews TD, Member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
  • Dr. Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael’s Spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade & Employment
  • Senator Brendan Ryan, Consumer Affairs Spokesperson for the Labour Party
  • Mary White, Green Party Deputy Leader and Spokesperson on Enterprise

The ‘Ignore That Store’ initiative follows hot on the heels of the extremely successful ‘Make small Print BIG Print’ campaign run by Dublin’s Q102 earlier this year. That project was focused on not only abolishing small print but making it BIG print, clearly highlighted, easy to read and in plain English to ensure consumers avoid getting trapped into agreements through the use of obscure and unwelcome terms and conditions. Furthermore, Scott Williams, CEO of Dublin’s Q102, was called to make a presentation about the ‘Make small Print BIG Print’ campaign to the Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment sitting at the Oireachtas.

Scott Williams, CEO of Dublin’s Q102 and presenter of ‘On the QT’, believes that the ‘Ignore That Store’ endeavour will be as successful as the ‘Make small Print BIG Print’ campaign and he has promised free Christmas publicity to the first store which stops inaccurately marking up their prices.

“After the recent success of the ‘Make small Print BIG Print’ campaign we believe that we can do more for the Irish consumer and stop stores marking up their prices. The response from our listeners to the ‘Ignore that Store’ project has been astounding. We have received a flood of calls, texts and e-mails on this topic confirming that this is a huge problem for consumers. We hope that our offer of free advertising in the run up to Christmas to the first store which undertakes to use accurate prices will encourage the stores to do so!”

Dermott Jewell, CEO of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, has expressed his committed support for the ‘Ignore That Store’ campaign:

“The actions and attitude adopted by many retailers in adding exorbitant, unrealistic and undeserved profit margins to Irish consumers needs to be highlighted. But – more importantly – consumers must acknowledge that this is unacceptable, that they are being fleeced and that they do have the power to do something about it and that they must do something about it.”

“The Consumers’ Association of Ireland, together with Q102, wants every consumer who sees anything more than 10% added to the euro exchange value of a £ sterling price to leave the goods there, to walk away and to tell their friends and family to Ignore That Store. Then, they should take their money to a retailer who values their custom with reasonable prices.”

“This is the one simple way we, as consumers, can send the message that until we see fair pricing we will not spend and we will leave products on the racks and shelves of the profiteers.”

And no, the irony of the CAI launching a campaign this week isn’t lost on me either.

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