Industry comment

Vending ‘bashing’ is rearing its head yet again. A recent TV advert for a fast food chain shows quite clearly that the machine overflows and hence coffee pouring onto the floor. Cue – Mirth and Jollity at our expense.
Two prospective customers rang us, as they had seen the advert and recognised the machine and were now having ‘second thoughts’ about buying something so ‘unreliable’ – their perception after only a couple of viewings.

We countered by stating that vending machines are now in many cases more intelligent than the ‘marketeers’ doing the advertising. A one button push, gives a measured amount of drink, this advert clearly implied it is the accident prone ‘star of the show’ which forgets to ‘say when’, and stop the drink flow.

Vending ‘bashing’ is not new, however recent adverts seem to be using our livelihood as a vehicle of derision to sell their products. It must stop. We already live in a very competitive marketplace; negative marketing by others doesn’t help.

We contacted the major manufacturers; they told us they have clear written guidelines for loaning machines for filming purposes. i.e. no negative, anti vending message, or ‘knocking the machine’. However, with the enormous budgets these adverts now have, machines are purchased so as to circumvent the guidelines.

Perhaps in this newly ‘health conscious’ society we now belong to, marketing companies may like to look at their own product first, rather than trying to divert their angst onto us.

After all, we are told, fried food is the scourge of our so called ‘civilised society’. The Government, The NHS, Jamie Oliver and ‘reaction groups’ all tell us to eat less fats and starchy foods, and more fresh fruit and vegetables. However, marketing companies still have to live, and make money; their consciences clear that their message has got through, what better way than to visit their ‘Cliché Cupboard’ and wheel out the old none working vending machine joke.

David Wood, CEO, Apogee International