Category: Business

Bad arithmetic

Spotted this beautifully hand-painted sign down Courtenay Place last night – something is wrong with the calculation…

Sign in Penny Farthings

Is this another Ferrit?

There have been a lot of TV ads promoting Lasoo.co.nz, a price comparison pre-shopping website.

I remember all too well Telecom’s foray into the online shopping experience. Now NZ Post, along with Reachmedia which it owns 50% of, is having a crack at this market.

Let me predict right now – this is destined for failure, in New Zealand at least.

Ferrit collapsed in January 2009. It was also a price comparison website but with the difference that customers could buy directly from the site. Lasoo sends customers to the nearest store or website of the retailer. So it would seem that the only way that Lasoo is making money is by charging retailers for the activity that their products generate on the site, and from Google ads.

It’s not going to work for a number of reasons:

  1. New Zealand is too small a market
  2. There aren’t enough retailers offering the same product to make price comparisons worthwhile

Only nine retailers have signed up but Reachmedia chief executive Greg Radford says it expects to bring about 10 more on board in the next few months. That’s a projected total of 19 retailers presumably offering different products with minimal ability to compare prices. If all nineteen stores offered the same products then the game may be on.

Lasoo has been operating in Australia for nearly two and a half years with some success. But that market is a lot bigger than New Zealand. As Stephan Korn, director of Webfund says in this Stuff article – “the site will be difficult to make a go of in New Zealand. It will need to charge retailers a ‘low cost per 1000 impressions’ rate to get their buy-in so they will need huge traffic to make it work.”

Air NZ, Rob Fyfe and the NZ Listener

Anyone know who does Air NZ’s viral campaign work? Only reason I ask is cos it’s good.

Here’s the latest – a sign-language response to an editorial in the NZ Listener magazine where that magazine suggested Air NZ would be becoming a budget airline by joining with Virgin Blue on the transtasman route.

The Air NZ response is so simple. Plus timely given that it is just weeks after NZ Sign Language week.

BTW – the woman in the clip is Victoria Skorikova – she works at the Deaf Association headquarters in Auckland.

Check the website here: http://www.dearlistener.co.nz/. While you are there check out the press release.

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XT Mobile war-room footage

The XT Network still has issues and heads have started to roll.

The spoofs continue to roll out. First there was the XT Network for sale on Trademe – disguised as a lemon. Now, never before seen footage of Dr Reynolds and his close knit team in the days immediately following the last big outage.

Here’s the video…

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And here’s a screen shot of the Trade Me auction.

Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

Intensive dairy farms in the Mackenzie country

These are happy dairy cows

These are happy dairy cows

Two companies, Southdown Holdings and Five Rivers, have put an application in to start a dairy operation that would see 18,000 dairy cows housed in pens known as free stalls. You can see the application here.

What are these people thinking? And why are the Federated Farmers supporting them?

Apparently there is a plus side to this type of farming: it makes the ‘farmers’ more money; and it’s supposed to be kinder to the environment because the effluent can be easily collected.

On the negative side the animals need greater doses of antibiotics to prevent infection, plus they’ll be fed on grain, not clover or grass. Both of these things have an effect on the milk production. These chemicals leach through into the milk so that you and I end up drinking them, and being fed on grain will alter the taste.

What’s more the grain that they feed these animals is likely to come from palm plantations that are replacing natural rainforest. Any apparent lowering of the carbon footprint is more than offset by the fact that grain will need to be shipped in.

What’s more frightening is that this will irreparably damage our reputation as a clean green producer of sustainable sheep and beef meat, and milk. If a feed lot for dairy cows is allowed then the next logical step is that beef farmers will want to intensively farm their animals and we’ll end up like the US – crap meat, crap milk.

Why is the Federated Farmers supporting this move? They believe that this sort of farming should be encouraged. According to Federated Farmers President Don Nicolson:

This style of closed cycle farming means effluent can, for example, be put into bio-digesters with the resulting biogas used to power the farm offsetting farm animal emissions.  Surplus energy could be sold into the national grid and all the while, nutrient loss is minimised.

This is what the emissions trading scheme is meant to encourage, isn’t it?

What he doesn’t take into consideration is the long term implications for New Zealand as a whole in allowing this type of farming. This isn’t a farm – it’s a factory. And the welfare of these animals is compromised as much, if not more, than the pigs in pens that caused so much controversy several months back.

McDonalds opening at the Louvre in Paris!

The Golden Arches

The Golden Arches

McDonalds is taking over the world. Not only are they making moves on Balmoral and Kaikoura than they are opening a restaurant in the Louvre Museum next month.

The 1,142nd McDonalds in France will open just metres inside the main entrance as a celebration of its 3oth birthday.

An art historian working at the museum stated:

“This is the pinnacle of exhausting consumerism, deficient gastronomy and very unpleasant odours in the context of a museum…”

I couldn’t have put it better myself, and so I wont.

McDonalds joins a Starbucks that opened near the Right Bank entrance to the Louvre in 2008.

The restaurant chain in France has enjoyed the biggest growth outside the USA. According to the chain the fast food group opened 30 new outlets last year in France and welcomed 450 million customers – up 11 per cent on the previous year.

Read the original Daily Telegraph article.

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