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Tips and rumours

Diagnosing Click Frenzy’s malaise … are Tassie ABC staff booing the boss? … AiGroup biting the hand that feeds it …

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Click fail. We’ve had some feedback from tipsters on why online shopping bonanza Click Frenzy didn’t go quite according to plan.

There’s more to the Click Frenzy webfail than is being reported. The Click Frenzy website was not down because of millions of shoppers, but millions of queries. There is a huge difference. These millions of queries were a result of the hundreds of thousands of people logging on, and all the feedback from the advertisement trackers overloading the database with queries which are sent between server and client. According to one shopper on my FB feed ‘it takes three-plus pages to get through to the actual offer, and each of those pages has three or more advertisements on it’. Pretty simple to figure out what happened, as this is precisely how DDOS attacks occur. The simple solution to get the site working would have been to remove the advertisements, or at the very least make them static (but then the click-throughs couldn’t be counted, so Click Frenzy couldn’t claim to sell millions of impressions to the gullible advertisers and retailers who spent their money with them initially or in the future).”

This devoted Tips reader was inspired by our Click Frenzy reporting to do a little spot checking — welcome to Crikey’s inaugural Titanic index.

On Click Frenzy, the movie Titanic (always worth watching again and again) as blu-ray plus blu-ray 3D is on special for A$42.38. On Amazon US (I am a regular customer) Titanic in a package that includes blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy is listed for US$14.99. If you can wait two to three weeks, shipping is $5.98, bringing the total under A$21. If you are in a hurry, they deliver in three days, for US$24.98, with a total still below the Click Frenzy price. I know that there are copyright issues, but the price differences are just not justifiable. Also there a region issues, but most DVD players are easy to re-program to become region-free.”

And this retail insider wants to explain why you’re paying more for your copy of Titanic if it’s sourced from Australia:

In relation to cost it is not unusual for retailers to receive stock from suppliers FIS (Free into Store) i.e. the manufacturer sends all the stock to each shop for no charge. If the retailer will take stock into their DC they receive a rebate to reflect the saving of taking direct container delivery of stock. Many Australian retailers are asking for global parity pricing however are unwilling to consider global parity margins; retailers here want higher margins than their global peers. This is typically for a few reasons. 1. Australia is over-retailed. Too many options for consumers with too little turnover. 2. High retail costs — Westfield rents are crazy. 3. High labour costs compared to global peers. 4. Australian retailers are globally quite profitable.”

Aunty Tasmania turns on herself. An observer from the Apple Isle is raising questions about the behaviour of some ABC staff, claiming they have been publicly denigrating their employer for the decision to cease TV production in the state. Our mole reckons Tasmanian ABC staff have filled Twitter with complaints about the decision under the #politas hashtag, and claimed the issue dominated ABC Tasmania’s radio news bulletins for the last two days, accompanied by analysis from ABC radio and TV personalities. This tipster is concerned about staff using work hours to rail against their employer.

We looked at the #politas hashtag and couldn’t see much there, so we’re not sure whether our observer is being a bit sensitive, or some tweets have been deleted. If you’ve got the inside story, fill us in.

Close to home. Is it correct that a high-up figure in the Australian Industry Group has “stirred up a hornets’ nest in Canberra” by criticising Fair Work Australia, because AIG currently has a $15.6 million tender to rollout a program led by Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, “Corporate Champions”, to help businesses become more flexible to help older workers?

*Do you know more? Send your tips to boss@crikey.com.au or use our guaranteed anonymous form.

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