After the No 7 brand flew off the shelves following a Horizon programme which found it effectively reduced wrinkles, Boots cranked up production, restocked the shelves, opened early and sat back to enjoy to-die-for headlines: ‘Dawn queue for ‘miracle cream’ (The Sun, 4 May).
Coming hard on the heels of similarly organised consumer stampedes, the phenomenon was identified as ‘one of those meticulously organised promotional operations… which involves an advance PR campaign to whip up excitement, opening up shops early to lure people in, and rationing the amount anyone is allowed to buy to heighten the frenzy’ (The Guardian, 4 May).
As with the Anya and Kate events, there was a tiny hint of consumer backlash. Some noted that Boots seemed more concerned about the publicity than its customers, while others questioned the validity of the research. ‘I feel I’ve been taken in a bit,’ confessed one shopper (The Sun, 4 May)
But, given their success, consumer frenzies look as though they are here to stay.