This week, two separate companies did the right thing when an issue was brought to their attention: a polite yet firm note to a company can get a result – sometimes even within minutes!
Toyota Basingstoke and “Road Tax”
Down at the bottom were a set of icons showing various benefits of buying from them. One of them was a (now obsolete!) VED disc with the phrase “Road tax and insurance” written below it.
As they had their twitter address right there, I sent them a tweet using the app on my phone:
There’s no such thing as road tax. Will you correct future @BasingstokeNews adverts?
Two days later, on Monday morning, the staff at Toyota Basingstoke tweeted this reply:
Yes well spotted, road tax is correctly classified as vehicle tax and will make sure any future ads will reflect this. Thanks
Result! That definitely deserves a thank you, so I tweeted:
Thank you @ToyotaBasingsto for the quick reply and positive action to correct your ‘road tax’ adverts
FreeFoam and Cyclist Strikes
A second positive result happened today – and fast, too!
A picture was posted to the ‘Stop Killing Cyclists’ Facebook group during my lunch. Before then,the photo was included in a tweet by Nico Weststeyn to the @CycleHatred account on twitter (photo was not his). The original photographer is unknown (any ideas who it was? would like to give credit)
A suggestion was made by another person that the company whose logo was on the installer’s van should be contacted:
Marc Fessler: Possibly a better approach, Freefoam building products appears to be a bigger manufacturer who supplies products to uPVC. Perhaps Freefoam should be alerted to how their logo is being displayed by the installer/retailer.
I agreed! So, I wrote an email to the company through the email address they listed on their website:
A person in a group that I am a member of on Facebook, Stop Killing Cyclists, posted a picture they took of one of your delivery vans, or installers of your product. Its registration is OE51 SGO.
Painted on the back of the van was a series of icons in the style of World War II airplane “kills” – it showed an icon of a person on a bicycle with strike marks beside it.
I interpreted it to mean that is the number of people (mothers, fathers, sons, daughters) your driver or installer had killed using the van branded with your logo.
I find it to be in very poor taste; there are far too many people killed each year on our roads, causing heartache and trauma for families and friends.
I would like to ask you to have it removed from all your delivery / installation vans.
Just 53 minutes later came this response:
Thank you for your email.
We are very pleased you have alerted us to this issue.
It’s certainly something we would not want our brand to be associated with.
I have contacted our Area Sales Manager who is seeing the owner of Marlin UPVC tomorrow.
We have been assured that the sign will be removed.
UPDATE 16 October: I received this followup email from FreeFoam yesterday afternoon:
Just to update you, stickers have been removed, attached photo.
Our Area Manager being a veteran of two Dun Runs and the holder of a dozen Brevet cards is happy that this has been sorted.
Aside: I have reported ‘road tax’ adverts to the Advertising Standards Association in the past – a few times! Far better it seems to go directly to the companies themselves (am I doing ASA job?!) – See the bottom part of this article: The ASA rules against advertising safe cycling
Update: Following clarification by Paul Cooke in the comments (thank you!) the photographer has been credited in the article.