Friday, September 6, 2013

Social Media Meme Points out Ridiculously Long CVS Receipts

The average retail receipt is six or eight inches long, with the store's location, date, itemized list of purchases, total, and maybe the odd return policy or link to a customer satisfaction survey.  But a recent viral display on social media has held up CVS pharmacies to ridicule, as the stores' receipts of six feet or longer are posted via mobile photo apps.  Twitter or Facebook pics of a CVS receipt held up and trailing to the ground are making the drugstore giant rethink its policy of loading every receipt with tons of targeted marketing and coupons.

Hunter Communications Original News Source:
The Boston Globe

Link to article:

Excerpt: "In one photo, a man holds up a CVS receipt so long it towers above his head. Another features a woman who jokingly uses the paper strip to keep track of her figure. She’s down to her target waistline: half a receipt.

The drug store chain’s remarkably long receipts — some, jammed with coupons, are said to reach 6 feet — have become a social media sensation, sparking more than 8,000 Twitter posts that range from gentle ribbings to scathing reproaches. They include photos that employ children, dogs, and even pianos as units of measurement of the scroll-like slips.

Some tweets call out the Woonsocket, R.I., company for wasting copious amounts of paper ('In the age of going paperless, [CVS] has gone clueless,' wrote @Bookwyrm76). Others try to one-up each other with Twitter’s version of a Comedy Central roast (“My CVS receipt just came out with the entire Torah printed on it,' read a tweet from @CompChristopher). There is even a Twitter parody account — @CVS_Receipt.

The Internet frenzy has not only caught the company’s attention, it has convinced CVS to reduce the length of receipts, which are often stretched by discount coupons and cash credits for customers with CVS ExtraCare reward cards.

CVS said last week that the typical length of its receipts will be chopped by 25 percent in coming weeks. Early next year, shoppers will be given the option of electronically sending all coupons and rewards directly to their cards.

'We actually saw what happened as more than a meme,' said Rob Price, the CVS chief marketing officer. 'Rather than treating it as an advertising problem or communications opportunity, we saw this as insight we needed to reflect on and act on.'

Price would not disclose the average length of a receipt. But he did concede they have grown longer over time as the CVS rewards program expanded.

Speaking like a well-trained marketing executive, Price said, 'Of course, our championship shoppers are going to get championship receipts.' "

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