Pokémon Go fever comes to Canadian businesses as they try to capitalize

“It’s a statement of what your brand is, who it stands for and who it seeks to appeal to,” said Wong, who is with the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.“While it may generate traffic for you, whether or not that traffic generates profitability in the short, and more importantly, long term is a different story. If you’re in a business that needs a promotion to stay in business, you’re already on a slippery slope.”Wong said the publicity stunt would mostly profit businesses that appeal to the biggest demographic of Pokémon GO players or have a link to the game — for example, stores that sell cellphone accessories or comic books.There may be a potential to grow business in the short term, but he doesn’t see that enduring.“Eventually the novelty will wear off. There will always be diehards but it’s no different than the Trivial Pursuit craze,” he said.“If you are the right kind of business, get in as soon as you can when the fad has the greatest duration of effect, because if you wait too long, the fad will be over.”In Toronto, Peter Coulter set up a chalkboard sign Monday outside his optical store featuring a promotion offering passersby a free glasses cleaning if they can capture a Pokémon creature inside.Although he says he hasn’t seen any direct sales from the sign, he stands behind it.“It’s quite the phenomenon,” said the manager of Optical Thirty 8. “The sign was just something catchy to encourage people to come in and use their phones so we can show them some of our services and at the same time, maybe they’ll buy some new glasses.”The Canadian Press TORONTO — The Pokémon GO sign directing people to the front door of Rock Candy Boutique in Halifax has only been up for a week, but Jeff Powers says he is already seeing it pay off.“Downtown is alive in a way that I haven’t seen in a long, long time,” said Powers, a manager at the store, which sells various rock music T-shirts, hoodies, hats and other paraphernalia.“There is just a flood from everybody, from young kids to older adults, and you can tell they’re playing this game.”That would be Pokémon GO, which officially launched in Canada on Sunday. The wildly popular video game sends players on a quest to find superimposed animated characters on a map-like interface using the camera on their smartphones. It is currently the most downloaded app in the Apple app store.Nintendo’s market cap doubles to US$42 billion as Pokemon GO craze goes globalPokémon GO , the global phenomenon that has people hunting outside for monsters, explainedPowers said Tuesday the sign has brought people into the store who wouldn’t normally shop there but hear it’s a good place to play the augmented reality video game.“This has just blown up bigger than anybody has expected,” he said, adding that the various Pokémon merchandise the store carries have also been flying off the shelves.“It leads people to travel down streets they normally wouldn’t. It’s bringing a lot of foot traffic down to the side streets and a lot of people are coming in and buying things because they were just in the area.”Some Canadian businesses have been jumping on the craze by actively encouraging potential customers to use their shops as PokéStops or Pokémon gyms — locations to play the game.But marketing professor Ken Wong cautioned that although it may seem like a no-brainer for businesses to capitalize on Pokémon GO’s popularity, it can also backfire.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston read more

Brothelkeepers guilty pleas welcomed by PSNI

first_imgDETECTIVES IN NORTHERN Ireland have welcomed the guilty pleas by three men to offences linked to human trafficking.The PSNI Organised Crime Branch investigated a Czech-based crime gang involved in the trafficking of women into Northern Ireland for the purposes of sexual exploitation.Three menUnder Operation Bundaleer the three men, Bronislav Rybensky, Lyle Lamont and Ferhat Ekici, were identified and have pleaded guilty to their parts in the criminal operation.Between May and August 2011, detectives conducted searches at three premises believed to be brothels controlled by this group and recovered four potential victims of trafficking who had been offering sexual services.The women had all travelled to Northern Ireland via Dublin from the Czech Republic. They had to give most of their earnings to Rybensky and had to pay him for the cost of flights and advertising.Home They could only return home once they had earned enough to pay for a return flight.Whilst some of the women accepted they had travelled to Northern Ireland to work as escorts, they claimed they were mistreated and exploited by handing over most of their earnings.Other women claimed they had been lured into coming to Northern Ireland for photo shoots but were then told they would have to have sex with men to pay for return flights. Most of these women did not speak English.Rybensky was arrested in August 2011 and during a search of his property a large number of mobile phones and sim cards were found along with other items used in relation to escort advertising. Rybensky pleaded guilty earlier this month to trafficking into the United Kingdom, controlling prostitution, brothel keeping and possession of criminal property.Brothel Lamont was arrested in June 2011 after he was found inside a suspected brothel in Belfast along with three potential victims of trafficking. Subsequent enquiries established that he had rented this apartment and another one for use as a brothel. Lamont pleaded guilty last week to brothel keeping.The bedroom in the Belfast apartment used as a brothel. (PSNI)Both Rybensky and Lamont will be sentenced in January.The third defendant, Ferhat Ekici, pleaded guilty today to brothel keeping and possessing criminal property. He was fined a total of £500 and had to surrender £670 in cash which was seized during a search of a Belfast property being used as a brothel.Money found in the bedroom of a Belfast apartment used as a brothel. (PSNI)The officer in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Douglas Grant said:This was a complex investigation into an organised crime group moving between different jurisdictions, luring and exploiting women in the sex industry. The group profited from the exploitation of the sex workers and trafficked victims, the majority of whom were in a strange country, unable to speak English.The final guilty plea today is welcome. It is an indication of the strength of the Organised Crime Branch investigation and case against the defendants.I would appeal to anyone who has information or suspicions about trafficking or sexual exploitation to contact police so that we can continue to make Northern Ireland a hostile place for organised crime groups to operate in.Read: Appeal for witnesses to early morning attack in Dublin’s city centre>Read: Liam Adams ‘laughs with prison guards’ as he is sentenced to 16 years in prison>last_img read more

Pfizer to officially sell Viagra on the internet to fight fake drugs

first_imgDRUG COMPANY PFIZER is to start selling Viagra online in a bid to fight counterfeit drugs which have been eating into its market share.The pharmaceutical giant said on its website that it is launching Viagra home delivery “to meet the needs of consumers who are increasingly going online to purchase prescription medications”. The service is only available to people living in the United States.Viagra is single most counterfeited medicine produced by Pfizer, the company said.There are almost 24 millions searches every year on the internet by people looking for Viagra online.  In the 15 years since it was first launched, Viagra has sold millions of tablets to treat erectile disfunction in men – but has also seen a booming black market open up in counterfeit drugs as people try to buy it cheaply or without a prescription.“By offering men with erectile disfunction convenient access and a legitimate alternative to purchase Viagra online, our hope is that Pfizer will help rein in the distribution of fake erectile disfunction products,” said Victor Clavelli of Pfizer.Pfizer said people will only be able to buy Viagra online if they have a valid prescription.“Through our ongoing analyses, we’ve seen how fake pharmacy websites can lure consumers into buying counterfeit medicines with what seems to be an easy purchasing experience, but it may be putting their health at risk,” said Carmen Catizone of the US National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.Read: 12 ways Viagra has changed the world in 15 years > Read: Councillor wants HSE funding for Viagra reviewed >last_img read more