SANParks apparently never signed off on nightmare promotion

Not so "super" after all because many factual errors were made in the cards, app and sound cards for their Pick n Pay promotion.

MBOMBELA – Consumers and wild-animal lovers are up in arms about the Super Animals promotion that Pick n Pay is running. SANParks is the beneficiary.

The card depicting a tern claims it weighs 125 kilograms. It should read 125 grams.

It was popular with Season 1. (Blue book).

The second version was launched recently and was going full steam ahead when discerning consumers began to complain about incorrect facts. (The Green Book).

Consumers have, up to now, discovered 19 factual errors on the 108 cards.

The retail chain has a contract with SANParks. This stipulates that the parks authority will receive R1 from each Super Animals album sold. The loose cards are placed in this album. The album costs R20.

The 108 cards must be collected before an album can be complete. Four cards can be obtained free after R150 has been spent. SANParks receives no proceeds from the cards.

Ms Alinda Lombard, a Pick n Pay customer, said it is worrisome that SANParks could have given its approval for these cards. ”This is ridiculous. It stresses me that someone from SANParks cannot distinguish between the facts around something like the appearance of a steenbok,” said Lombard.

WATCH Mbombela shoppers on Black Friday 2016.

Ms Tamra Veley, spokesman for Pick n Pay, confirmed to Lowvelder on Thursday that the final product was not signed off by SANParks before going to print.

“They did, however, see the details that would be used on the cards and signed that off, but not the final product,” said Veley. When asked if this was a breach of the contract, Veley was vague and said, “It may be that we have a contract about that or not.”

The Steenbok card is erroneous. The photograph does not depict a steenbok. Above : what it should look like. Beneath: what it shouldn’t look like. This is a European Alpine ibex.

According to a card, whales weighing in at six tons have a length of 1,6 metres. Also, if you believe the cards, there are black mambas in the Nama-Karoo and Atlantic herring in South African waters.

A R50 sound-card reader must be purchased to hear the sounds. Sound cards can be obtained after goods to the amount of R150 have been bought. SANParks does not receive any proceeds from sound-card reader sales.

The sound cards also contain errors. The black-backed jackal makes the sound of an aardwolf.

The associated app also contained factual errors. The app can be downloaded for free on most phones.

There is consumer confusion about the goods that can be bought to qualify for points to make up the required R150.

Not all managers seem to be able to explain to shoppers why goods like airtime and prescription pharmacy medication are exempt from the promotion.

According to Pick n Pay, this is part of the terms and conditions of the promotion available on its Facebook page.

Mr Andrew Pretorius, spokesman for Pick n Pay’s marketing department, said the store is “really sorry that a few errors crept in within the card-printing process, which we are now correcting. The South African Super Animals app has already been updated with the correct information.”

Pretorius explained that customers have been informed on social media platforms when the corrected printed cards will be in stores.

“Collectors can then exchange their cards for free or contact us via our Facebook page and we’ll get replacement cards to them,” Pretorius explained.

SANParks acting head of communications, Mr William Mabasa said, “We would like to apologise for the errors and thank South Africans for their continued support of conservation.”

When asked about the agreement concerning the final approval of the cards, he referred Lowvelder to Pick n Pay for comment.
Mabasa said SANParks was supporting the campaign for its fun and educational value.

READ more about frequently answered questions about the cards

Elize Parker
Environmental Journalist Lowvelder

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