Consumer Focus – and our magic wand

The new organisation we are creating out of the merger of energywatch, Postwatch and National (+ Scotttish and Welsh) Consumer Council will be called Consumer Focus.

We are looking at logos, but here is the suggestion from the energywatch team in Scotland – with our magic wand for consumers! doc1 

Consumer futures

Long words and good ideas in this online discussion around the Office of Fair Trading on the future of consumer and competition policy. My mate Colin at the OFT tells me they are rarely out of court at the moment. Colin, you’re doing a grand job!


I am a proud member of netmums, despite being a patently notmum. They are transforming the consumer scene by doing the simple thing of bringing people together. Have a look at this thread of conversation from a day or two ago on helping someone on how to cope with debt – and how people who have gone bankrupt can touch and support someone threatened with it in ways that no-one else can. It’s self help and mutual aid combined.


A long Board meeting today and most of our time on operational and financial issues. But we did confirm our new name as probably Consumer Focus and looked at possible visual logos. I hope we can canvas views among staff, who have also given us some new possible straplines.

Also confirmed that we will want to be active members of BEUC and Consumers International. We are part of a proud consumer movement.

Hello Kitty, goodbye responsibility

Early next year I have a book coming out, written with Agnes Nairn, on children as consumers and some of the marketing that is targeted to them. Hello Kitty is a sales phenomenon for girls and one of the examples that Agnes, who is a Professor of Marketing, and I have been exploring in relation to how fashion is getting ever younger. Even so, I was surprised to see this notice in a Hello Kitty (Sanrio Corporation) shop which declares “we are not responsible for your child’s purchase.

I wonder what other notices companies could use – “we are not responsible for the chemicals that poison the people that make the shirt you buy” or “we are not responsible for you if things go wrong”. Perhaps it is simply an outbreak of honesty…  

Big birthday

Larry Whitty, our wonderful Chair, is 65 this weekend. A few of us gathered together, including transition team based at energywatch with consumer and IP queen Jill Johnstone from NCC and post scientist Ian Leigh from Postwatch – with a home-made prize cake baked by Elizabeth.