28 May, 2013

The meaning of loyalty

Tesco, the supermarket chain, has announced an anti-obesity campaign. I'm sure I don't have to remind you, but this is a supermarket. Not a government department.

The idea is that Tesco uses the information available to it on its loyalty card to look at what you are eating and....what? There have been hints that it might post healthy recipes to its 'loyal' customers who have been eating the 'wrong' things: 'Hi! You've been buying quite a few cupcakes recently. Would you like a recipe for grilled courgettes with lettuce?' Or will there be a little hiatus at the check-out as the cashier announces 'I'm afraid you're limited to two pizzas a week at the moment - getting a bit tubby aren't we?' Or the registered letter to your home 'YOU FAT COW! YOU'RE STUFFING YOURSELF WITH CALORIES AND YOU HAVE AN ARSE LIKE A HIPPO! DON'T COME BACK UNLESS YOU'RE GOING TO BUY SOME SALAD!'.

So you shop at Tesco and sufficiently regularly to have one of these loyalty cards, then they use some of the profit they have made out of you to tell you what to eat.

This looks to me very much like one of those occasions where it would have been better to remain silent.

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