Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Every Little Helps

Dear Tescos,
I would like to compliment you on your new advertising campaign. It is very clever indeed. I like the way that you mention, very loudly, that your stuff for schools give away has donated £150million to our darling little children. My you are a generous little business, aren’t you? Britain’s Bill Gates some might say. I also like the way that the voice over sort of mumbles “since 1992”. Sorry what was that? That amount has been donated over 16 years. Oh that is a little less generous isn’t it? That’s £9.3 million a year. Well, that’s still quite generous, nearly £10million a year.
What were your profits last year by the way? I think they were about £2.8billion, give or take a little bit. Well £9.3million is still quite generous, I think. Let me just work that out as a percentage, ummm……. Oh that’s about 0.3% of your profit from last year. Oh that is a little less generous than I thought and was sort of lead to believe by your advert. As I said, very clever. It’s like Mad Men and their “Roasted Tobacco” ad campaign. “But everyone roasts their tobacco!” says the man from the cigarette, “indeed they do but you are the first one to says you do”. “We are so generous” says your new campaign but really it’s only 0.3% of your profits from last year. In fact ALL the money you have given away over the last 16 years is only 5.3% of THIS year’s profit.
Oh and the Government closed a loophole that you used to used to save £50million a year in corporation tax, which is 5 times what you generously give away.
Oh again, you seem to be now based in Switzerland, which is, I think, a tax haven after you had to leave the tax haven of Jersey because the authorities feared your presence might damage to the islands' reputation. And they’ll have pretty much any one,

Yours not taken in by your Ad,
Martyn xx

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