Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Camera police

A few weeks ago I was at the Géant superstore checkout. I wanted to buy a bike pump but the price wasn't on it. A clerk on rollerblades came to check the price. I thought that was pretty cool and decided to take a picture. (See this post.) Apparently, Géant prohibits photographs, so a security guard came over to scold me. Which he did, for a long time-- continuing through several of my apologies. I wasn't particularly happy and I didn't buy the bike pump.

Think a bit about this policy. A customer at a store sees something interesting & decides to take a photo to share with his friends and family. "Hey cool store, check it out!" Isn't this exactly what a store is trying to accomplish through advertising? I understand that a business has the right to restrict photography on its property, but are those restrictions in its own interest? Seth Godin, a marketing expert, had the same thing happen to him. You can read his thoughts on it.

Anyway, I still shop at Géant but every single time I walk in the door I get a bad feeling. If there was another superstore in Montevideo, I'd shop there instead.

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A parallel story....
El Torero went into that natural food store he found downtown and had taken a picture of for the blog. The lady asked him if had indeed taken a photo and why. She wasn't mad at him, but told him that it is in fact illegal to take photos of buildings, houses, etc here in Montevideo. I would be up for many "multas" if they saw how many photos I had of houses here! Interesting...
Not to pour salt in the wound, but if you ever want some company when you go to Geant, I would be hapyy to to go. I have heard a lot about this superstore but have yet to take a taxi or a bus out there, and El Torero is not so interested.
Hi Chuck!
Mark and I along with the rest of Kim Clark's campaign entourage got the same treatment in Meijer's Parking lot late October(Clark ran for Fred Upton's seat). I guess it's understandable that they don't want to seem to be endorsing a candidate, but it made me stop and think about the scarcity of public places where campaigning like that could be done.

(Last week we helped with Julie Roger's recount She got within a few hundred votes against Hoogendyke. She didn't win but it gives us confidence in our new mark-sense ballot system.)

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