Trafford Centre ‘Makeover Contests’. Shame on you!

My lovely niece Kim, aged thirteen, was in Manchester’s Traffford centre with a couple of friends. She was approached by a girl handing out ‘win a makeover and photo session!’ type leaflets, which of course the three girls jumped at. They filled them in, and no surprise, moments later they emerged lucky winners.

The obvious catch…

My sister called me to tell me about this, and before she’d finished the sentence I knew what had happened. I’m sure you know the story of how these things work…

You win a makeover and photo session, yet not included in the prize are the pictures themselves, which cost a fortune, and of course you can’t take your own camera into the session.

She was rightfully disgusted they’d handed out the leaftlets to young girls, and now she had to diffuse a situation – being seen as ‘unfair’ because she wouldn’t pay for the photos. I did my best on the phone to help, explaining to Kim how the scheme worked and that it is just a legal con, with a pretense at being a contest, to flog costly photos.

Targeting Kids isn’t on.

My anger is less at the technique – people will try lots of ways to make money – but at the fact they gave them to young teens. We already live in a “must have” society; for companies to possibly deliberately take advantage that is one step too far.

If your kids shop near the Trafford centre, or any other mall doing something similar, warn them in advance to steer clear.

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