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Friday, June 14, 2024
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EditorialsUp Front 06/10

Up Front 06/10

Whether we are working in a business or dealing with them as consumers, we are all likely to have opinions on how they should be run. We may even have opinions on how a business affects the community it serves, how its practices affect other businesses in the area, or even what is ethically or morally right for the betterment of the world at large. Over the years I have come across a huge amount of incredibly hard-working, honourable people, who have strived to scrape a living offering products and services to the community in which they live. Many small businesses have struggled valiantly through economic upheaval, ridiculous bureaucracy and the effects of being squeezed by larger companies. I have also come across some thoroughly dishonourable people – but that’s another story. However, it is the all powerful corporate giants that usually make the news, often as a result of the use of marketing techniques such as a ‘loss leader’, the practise of under-pricing some items to increase trade in others. It’s easy to be cynical about what motivates large companies to launch marketing initiatives and it’s laudable that many have said they won’t use loss leader techniques with alcohol for the coming World Cup. But it’s hard to fully appreciate one supermarket’s recent decision to sell cancer treatment drugs at cost price. According to the company, they hope to get other supermarket chains to follow suit, and make cancer treatment available to more people. The fact that they are now offering a drug used to treat lung cancer, at more than £2,000 for thirty tablets, will be applauded, especially by those who can afford it, and we can only hope the cost comes down further. But I can’t help feeling it would make this particular loss leader more palatable if they also stopped selling tobacco.

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