Monthly Archives: August 2010

Another Travel Company Bites the Dust

If you’re planning to go on holiday anytime soon you won’t be able book with Flight Options Limited, who traded predominantly as Kiss Flights. The London based travel company has ceased trading on the 17th August 2010 and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has stepped in to protect the remaining holidaymakers. The CAA will allow the 13’000 still currently overseas to return home, with the other 60’000 who plan to make a trip in the future still able to claim a full refund.

This is a worrying time for the British travel industry as the recession recovery stalls and other travel companies go bust. On the 11th August 2010 Sun 4 U Limited left many sun searchers stranded as they too went out of business.  The highest profile travel company to recently go under is Goldtrail Travel Limited. Goldtrail specialised in cheap trips to Greece and Turkey, and had gone into administration, leaving an estimated 16,000 people overseas. Some of those trapped in Turkey have even been extorted for more money by Hotel Mangers –who have been advised by Goldtrail to recoup their losses from those who have nowhere else to go as Goldtrail can’t pay the hotels.

Goldtrail were previously the source of many complaints on the BBC show Watchdog and it comes to no surprise that they went out of business.

These were businesses struggling to compete with larger, more established travel companies. All three business’ that went bust were ones I have personally never hear of. If they had spent more time increasing their online presence, they may have generated more business and still be around today.

Google – Verizon Deal. – Why Net Neutrality is not a Topic of the Month?

Google and Verizon will announce a deal that the New York Times describes “could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege”.

We believe that the best and the worse in this area has already been done already and now we just carefully watch where this is going. We are web people who are aware what this type of deal may mean for us vs huge corporations. For now it looks like another Googlenet story which may or may not be a huge problem… stay tuned for more news from the Verizon-Google-Obama Administration front.

Net Neutrality The Worst up to date:
The confusion in the US after FCC vs Comcast over Net Neutrality case (2008-2010) which ended in early April 2010. Federal Communication Commission fined Comcast for blocking BitTorrent usage. Comcast won only because they proved in the U.S Court of Appeals that the FCC has no authority to give such a fine. Imagine: broadband service isn’t currently defined as Telecommunication! – Shocked? – me too!
Of course this confusion allows companies to talk about possible deals.

The best on Net Neutrality front up to date:
The Paccific Telegraph Act from 1860 says “Massages received from any individual, company, corporation… shall be impartially transmitted in order of their reception”. This says it all and if current congress will be able to pass an update to this act and extend it to broadband services we are all good. Of course before this happens we have months of lobbying and pressures on Congressman.

The biggest unknown on Net Neutrality up-to-date:
Obama’s Administration – which is trying to patch law and ensure Net Neutrality for the future. Is the president strong enough to gain support from US Congress? Is he interested enough to make an effort? We don’t know.

So we have the typical pressure, lobbying and race between Government/Regulators and Industry itself, which is going to make sure trade standards are faster than regulator’s law.

Google-Verizon Deals and Net Neutrality Guards

Google-Verizon Deals and Net Neutrality Guards

Online Marketing in Offline World – We Love IT!

Facebook ‘Liking’ is one of the ways businesses have recently started using to attract customers to their special offers and other activities. The biggest companies try the odd TV or Newspaper Ad, which is sending people to their Facebook page where in exchange for clicking the ‘Like button’ you are given the chance in a competition to win products or served with a money off voucher for your next purchase. But recently we are pleased to notice that people have inserted online marketing to their day-to-day activities. This is no longer associated with huge budgets and cutting edge online activities (such as games producers, online merchants etc). We had the pleasure to witness half a dozen coaches on ZSL Zoo parking all proudly carrying big stickers with the “Become a Fan on Facebook” invitation.

Facebook Fan Sticker on the side of the coach - well done!

Facebook Fan Sticker on the side of the coach - well done!

OK, so what if they didn’t update their stickers and they still have “Fans” instead of “Likers“? But who cares?

“The Golden MIM” Award for July goes to Olympian Coaches. Well done!

Please let us know when you find some other samples of holistic approach to marketing!