Pretty sure we’ve all done this, seen a product on offer in store and taken a pic on our smart phone to share with the world.
There is a Facebook page called UK Whisky Deals which is pretty much exclusively phone pics of bottles of whisky, reduced to clear whiskies or other spirits shared so that we can all fire in and pick up a bargain, there are many such pages and Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are loaded with such photos.
Plus, we’ve all been there, haven’t we, you know, when we’re in store and we are looking at a product and can’t for the life of us remember if it’s the correct product so we snap a pic and whats app it over to get confirmation from our partner, or as happened the other week my wife took a picture of a couple of bottles of whisky in Marks and Spencer, bottles on offer, to see if I wanted any as she was in store.
But Marks and Spencer had other ideas.
My wife was approached and asked to remove the pics from her phone, she then asked to speak to a manager who then asked her to leave the store because my wife wife wouldn’t give the manager her name.
Now, I’m not really here to get into details of the total “sorry not sorry” apology we received from Marks and Spencer regarding my wife being humiliated for taking a photo of a bottle of whisky, I’m here because after nearly two weeks I still haven’t had any actual policy from Marks and Spencer regarding taking photos of products.
What Marks and Spencer have said is that people should always ask for permission from management to take pictures for commercial purposes, but was this commercial purposes? Where are the signs up?
I have still had zero response from Marks and Spencer regarding their actual policy on taking pictures in store of products, the pictures didn’t show anything that could have been seen as a security issue, the pictures contained no other customers nor staff, just a close up picture of a bottle of whisky.
So Marks and Spencer cannot provide anything in print, and that’s because there isn’t anything in print, which seems strange all things considered.
It’s a weird one this, why would a store discourage bloggers or shoppers from buying a product? My wife wouldn’t have just bought whiskies for me on a whim because I might not have wanted those bottles or didn’t deem the discount to be worth it, yet here we are.
There was a story last year when this happened to a chap in Aldi, and Aldi when the man complained issued an apology and said of course people could take photos, and why wouldn’t they, why would a store not want to make money, especially Marks and Spencer who seem to post loss after loss year after year.
Oh and out of spite I went into the same Marks and Spencer store and took several pictures just to get challenged and guess what, no one said a word, I was even going to get a member of staff to hold a bottle up for me but then I thought they’d get into trouble and I’m not here to do that.
So I was curious, I decided to test the waters and spent some time in Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl and snapped away at stuff on discount and not single member of staff batted an eyelid, not one, but then neither did Marks and Spencer.
All I ask is for is clarity and consistency and Marks and Spencer give neither.
I’d love to hear if anyone has had any problems or if they do indeed ask permission to take a photo of a bottle or a lipstick or whatever, I’ve been moaning about this on Twitter and Facebook for a while now and still haven’t had anyone come back to me saying they ask for permission.
Oh and I’ll never step foot into another Marks and Spencer store again, I’ve switched my Marks and Spencer current account and I’ve done the same with my Marks and Spencer Credit Card, I’ll miss their fruit crumbles sweeties, their wines and their coffee shop but hey, there are other shops out there.