Not a swipe at any particular advertiser [Astute readers may be able to draw their own conclusions: Ed] this morning, just a general observation. When someone promotes a "sale" and proclaims that it "must end" on a given date, I suppose they want our reaction to be as follows:
Scene: the household of Mr & Mrs Consumer
Mrs C: Here's the morning paper, our dad
Mr C: Thanks thinks why is she talking all Northern this morning, she's from Exeter
Mrs C: I'm so glad we've finished all our Christmas shopping, today I'm going to put my feet up.
Mr C: Oh no you're not. Read this! hands over paper folded to a full page ad
Mrs C: Good heavens. Sparks and Mencer are having a sale, the chocolates that were on sale for a very reasonable £57 per kilo are now a staggeringly good value £28 per kilo.
Mr C: And the sale MUST END soon so hurry hurry, it says here.
Mrs C: It must end? I don't believe it.
Mr C: Says so here. It MUST END.
Mrs C: You mean...
Mr C: Get your coat, Amanda, we're going shopping!
Unfortunately the reaction in the Commuter household is rather different
Mrs C: Here's the morning paper and why you can't get it yourself you lazy good-for-nothing I'll never know, Mother was right about you.
Mr C: Yeah, whatever. Blimey. Would you look at that!
Mrs C: You mean the incredible sale at Sparks and Mencer which must end soon? Shall I get my coat?
Mr C: £57 a kilo? £57 a kilo??
Mrs C: Well we don't actually need a kilo darling.
Mr C: I can see why that sale must end. Their directors must be going bonkers. How can they possibly pay themselves huge bonuses just for doing the jobs they have contracted to do anyway if the company doesn't make enormous profits, and they can't do that at £28 a kilo. No way. I'm amazed that sale hasn't already ended and the person who thought of holding it been summarily sacked, barred from ever working in retail again and had his private phone spattered all over Twitter by the company's "black ops" department. We daren't go anywhere near in case we caught up in the grim lines of middle managers marching up the aisles removing all the Sale signs,fending off desperate last minute shoppers with a sneer that says "We told you it must end and this is it" and rechecking their spreadsheets to ensure that all discounts are removed forthwith. It's going to be retail carnage.
Mrs C: quietly Mother was right.