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11 December 2020

How not to run a promotional cash drop

Our top tips for retailers thinking a promotional cash drop is a good idea.

It’s been a bad news week for The Safety Warehouse. Its “cash drop” last Saturday earned a rebuke from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and sparked a Commerce Commission investigation.

The event in Auckland’s Aotea Square was promoted as “New Zealand’s very first Mass Cash Drop” where $100,000 in “ACTUAL MONEY” would be flying from the sky. But things quickly turned sour when store vouchers printed to look like $5 notes started dropping on punters as well.

Nine complaints were made to the commission and it’s investigating whether any representations about the event fell foul of the Fair Trading Act’s ban on misleading claims. Companies that don’t comply with the act risk a $600,000 fine.

For any retailer thinking about running this type of event, here are our three top tips:

  1. Think twice. We reckon it’s hard to see how anyone would think this sort of promotion was a good idea.
  2. If you ignore tip one, brush up on the Fair Trading Act.
  3. Prepare for a PR disaster. Making punters fight for cash may well be perceived as cruel and dehumanising.
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