I hope every retailer is making hay (fifty shades of hay) while the sun continues to shine on ‘that’ erotic fiction trilogy. In the latest issue of ETO Katie Byrne of Ann Summers tells us how the chain has been reacting to the phenomenon and Emily Dubberley, who appeared on This Morning to talk about the subject, looks at how it has affected other industry names.
Last month ITV2 broadcast a programme called The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song, which – spoiler alert – turned out to be The Winner Takes It All. (I can only assume this was on the back of Meryl Streep’s magnificent rendition of it in the film version of the Mamma Mia, which was reportedly cut in one take.) So far, with Fifty Shades of Grey, we have all been winners and there are no “losers standing small” but interest will inevitably wane over the coming months so make the most of this opportunity while it lasts.
And talking of opportunities, a very real one exists in the electronic cigarettes sector. The vilification of tobacco products (and tobacco users) is only going to increase in the future, with ever more stringent legislation. Electronic cigarettes will be an acceptable substitute for a high percentage of Britain’s 10m smokers and they offer significant benefits over the real thing. I hope you make time to read the feature on page 34 of the latest issue, in which I talk to some of the market’s major players and explain why these products are ideal for adult retailers.
Finally, in the August issue there is an article looking into banter in the workplace. This was not commissioned in response to the recent John Terry/Anton Ferdinand court case – in which the on-pitch verbals was described as ‘banter’ in some quarters – but it’s something I have wondered about ever since I asked a quite senior exec why he had resigned from a well-paid position with an ambitious company (not in this industry). His response was: “I got tired of being called a cunt every day.”
The resulting article, on page 44 of the August issue, is a little alarming for employers, which is why I am flagging it here.