The NBR Veuve Clicquot competition

I am annoyed with the National Business Review. In fact more than annoyed – I am angry.

Readers will have seen my links to their 40th birthday competition. People had the chance to win their weight in Veuve Clicquot and the competition was promoted on the basis of popular vote. Many bloggers got in behind Busted Blonde’s entry and she won the popular vote.

After the published deadline had passed, NBR announced that the popular vote winner would not win the competition (which was strongly implied), but that the top ten most popular would go into a pool, and judges would then select their favourite of the top ten.

NBR has the legal right to change the terms and conditions. This is not a debate about legality. They said the winner would be announced within seven hours of the vote closing. They changed this in the final hours to announcing it a week later, allowing judges to decide on someone other than the popular vote winner.

I deplore what NBR has done. They have acted unethically. If they had made clear at the very beginning that the popular vote winner would not count for anything, and all you had to do was be in the top ten – then I (and others) would have acted very differently. They basically conned bloggers and other social media users into promoting their contest for them under false pretences.

Quite a few people are upset about this. I’ll link to some of these in a second. Some are calling for boycotts of NBR, cancelled subscriptions etc. I’m not going to go down that path. I doubt NBR cares too much about losing my potential subscription (especially as they kindly provide me with a complimentary copy anyway).

My message to the National Business Review is that you have lost something infinitely more valuable than my subscription. You have lost both my respect and my trust. That is hard to do, and even harder to undo.

Both NBR and Veuve Clicquot  are suffering brand damage from this. Already blog posts are climbing up the ladder in Google page ranks. And it has spread over Twitter, with one of the world’s most famous wine critics contacting Busted Blonde wanting details of what has happened.

Posts on this saga are:

As I said, I am angry. Not about the fact Busted Blonde did not win. I am angry that I was effectively conned into promoting their competition under false pretences. Now people may say, it is your own fault. They never stated explicitly that the popular vote winner would win – it was only strongly implied. And you are right – it is partly my own fault. I trusted National Business Review to act honourably. I was wrong, and have learnt a lesson.

UPDATE: I note that on Google NZ, a search for “Veuve Clicquot” already has this post higher ranked that the actual NBR competition.

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