The Esso Price Watch campaign in the UK tries to persuade us that Esso
is working hard to keep their prices the lowest in any particular area
by monitoring the prices charged by other local petrol stations.
The truth is exactly opposite of course. What they're actually doing is
monitoring their local competitors to see what the MAXIMUM is they can
charge on a day-by-day basis without losing business to a cheaper local
competitor. Its all localised because you can't go very far when you
need to buy petrol.
Staying competitive on price is always achieved by monitoring your
competitors and pitching your price at the highest level the market will
stand, before you lose business to a cheaper competitor. In the UK
where petrol stations offer no service to the customer requiring just
petrol buyer beyond the bulk storage of fuel, price is the customer's
Esso are patronising us when they tell us that they are watching prices
for us - they're not - they're doing it for Esso.
I've no objections to making money (or capitalism in general), but I do
object to being patronised by advertisers. I never use their
stuff now. I much preferred it when Esso put a tiger in your tank. The
tail always reminded me of an advertising executive's pony tail :-).
End of ranting.
Paul Hird 1975 MGB Roadster