7. Hoover: Free Flights (1992)
What happened? Don’t know why this ancient news item came into my head when planning this post, so it must have been quite significant at the time. The British division of Hoover offered free flights to anyone who bought more than £100 worth of their products. It prove to be an extremely popular promotion, with many people buying the products not because they wanted the items, but so they could get the flights which in many cases were worth several times more than the value of the goods. Hoover were unable to keep up their end of the deal and court cases went on until 1998, costing the company £50million.
What did Hoover do about it? They went out of business – or at least the British division of Hoover did, being sold to Italian manufacturer Candy in 1998.
Who came out on top in the end? Well, not Hoover anyway.