The Cult of Opinion

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In recognition of all those have served our great nation and condemnation for those who exploit them.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the US. A day dedicated to recognizing the people who have fought for our freedoms. To all of those who have fought bravely for our countries, I give to you my undying gratitude, respect and thanks.

Alas, it dismays me that, on a day that is intended to recognize the sacrifices of millions, companies take advantage of the day to leverage those same heroes to generate profit. Profits intended to benefit only the company, with nothing being offered back to the veteran organizations.

The case in point is the following advertisement for Pimsleur language software from Simon & Schuster Publishing. Yesterday and today I received email advertisement for its “Veterans Day Flash Sale” that proclaims its intent of “RECOGNIZING OUR VETERANS”.

Simon and Schuster

Simon & Schuster ad for its Veterans Day Sale

The reason I find this so offensive is because I am on the email list for Pimsleur and no less than 3 times a month I receive a “special offer” that provides the exact same discount. I have ranted to those around me previously that if you offer something as a special discount all the time the it is no longer special, nor a discount. It is just the regular price you charge when you aren’t overcharging someone.

At first I gave Simon & Schuster the benefit of the doubt and hoped that clicking on the link in the ad would lead to a declaration that they were donating proceeds from this “sale” to veteran’s organizations; of course that isn’t there. It is simply an ad that tries to leverage Veterans Day for profit. This is repulsive level of disrespect towards the very people who they are using to sell their product.

Just to prove that they do indeed offer the exact same discount, nearly weekly, I went back through my deleted emails and found ads for sales it has offered in the last 45 days.  Unfortunately, due to the efficiency of my email server, all the previous ads are gone. But you can trust me that these emails are non-stop.  They are always offering the same 10% discount. The following is a sample.

  1. Fall Flash Sale that ended September 27, 2015 offering a 10% discount
  2. Storewide Fall Savings that started October 15, 2015 and ends November  10, 2015 offering a 10% discount
  3. A Fall Sale that ends October 31, 2015. NOTE: This sale has the same promo code for the previous one and is attached to an email on October 30 that ends at midnight.  It presented and as the “LAST CHANCE”.  This is a last chance savings for a sale that ends that night but has the same promo code of the sale that ends 10 days later. Of course it offers a 10% discount

I often wonder if the people in the photo that they used have any idea that they are being exploited. At the time of that photo, or any time since, have they contemplated a company would use their image to its own benefit despite their sacrifice. Perhaps they would look at it think that it is simply a good photo and I am over-reacting. But from where I stand I want everyone to show respect to our veterans and not use the freedoms they have provided us as a way to profit for themselves.

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2015 by in Rants and tagged , , , .
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