Arif Ahmed, who runs Ahmed’s News in Coventry, took part in BAT’s loyalty scheme, called MOR£, and says he was told he would be rewarded £300. He maintains he followed the display instructions. However, he had only received £125 when the year was up.
He says: “I’ve supported them all along. I feel kicked around. That money is peanuts to BAT.”
The company sent an official response: “We are sorry Mr Ahmed is unhappy with the rewards he’s received via the MOR£ programme. Unfortunately, as discussed with Mr Ahmed, the activity in this store was non-compliant with the terms of the scheme which were shared with him prior to joining. Please be assured that when these terms are adhered to the MOR£ programme is the best way for retailers to maximise the profitability of the tobacco category in-store.”
Arif thinks they are quibbling over minor details. “They’re not looking at the bigger picture.” He says he has happily lobbied MPs on behalf of the tobacco industry and last month went to Westminster with the Tobacco Alliance to protest against plain packs.