Thursday 22 March 2012

General Merchandise Still Short-changed In Tourist Brochures

In April/May 2011 General Merchandise Traders wrote to Jenny Hibbs, QVM CEO, requesting a review of the food bias in QVM tourist brochures.
Specifically, we questioned the almost exclusive use of food oriented graphics in QVM advertisements. The QVM tourist brochure is handed out at the office and various city locations including the splendid Visitors Centre in Federation Square. At the time this brochure had 14 photos, but only one (a picture of the Victoria St. shops) could be construed as general merchandise. The Official Visitors Guide to Melbourne is the premiere tourist brochure for Melbourne with over 1,000,000 copies distributed annually. The visitors guide contained a QVM advertisement with 6 photographs – not one photo showed general merchandise.
We argued that the bias on food was inappropriate for any market publication but particularly for attracting tourists who were unlikely to be buy large quantities of food to take back to their hotel/motel rooms. Additionally, as 70% of General Merchandise Customers were tourists there was a good chance that tourists come to the market predominantly for general merchandise.
At the time our CEO agreed with our sentiment and promised a review of tourist brochure advertising content. We are able to report that current publications reflect a shift in emphasis. See below.

The QVM tourist brochure now contains 3 photos of general merchandise amongst its 15 photos and the Official Visitors Guide now contains one photo of general merchandise amongst its 5 photos.
While we are pleased that general merchandise has an improved showing, we still don’t believe these brochures give a balanced view of what QVM has to offer tourists. What do you think?