Stock howler hits Nook campaign

Barnes & Noble Nook campaignA nationwide press campaign for Barnes & Noble’s ebook reader, the Nook, has been blasted by the ad watchdog after a spectacular balls-up saw it run out of stock of within days, leaving consumers fuming.
Keen to boost take-up of the Nook, the campaign offered the device at a major discount – slashing the price from £79 to £29 – backed by the strapline “Fact not Fiction”.
However, Barnes & Noble was caught seriously short, having forecast the promotion would increase sales by a factor of 10 to 20 times typical levels.
In fact the cut- price offer sparked a stampede of 120 times the normal sales rate, leaving the shelves empty at the retailers involved in the promotion, including Argos, Asda, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s.
The company, which launched the ads on April 24, was forced to tell its agency to pull the campaign just over a week later as stocks had dried up.
But it was too late to prevent one disgruntled shopper from contacting the Advertising Standards Authority after failing to find a Nook at any one of the nine retail partners highlighted in the ad.
Banning the ad, the ASA criticised Barnes & Noble for not providing “sufficient evidence that their estimate [of sales and stock] was reasonable”.
“Promoters must be able to demonstrate that they had made a reasonable estimate of the likely response and that they were capable of meeting it,” said the ASA. “We told Barnes & Noble to ensure that when running promotions in future they ensured they made a reasonable estimate of the likely response to the offer.”

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1 Comment on "Stock howler hits Nook campaign"

  1. RT @DM_editor: ASA blasts Barnes & Noble over botched Nook promotion #digitalmarketing #datamarketing #directmarketi…

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