When Small Amounts Outweigh The Large

London’s Daily Telegraph stole an incredible march on its rivals by publishing the expense claims of UK MPs.  Whatever your moral or political stance on whether the elected representatives are underpaid and overworked or cosseted fraudsters, you cannot deny that three weeks down the line on the exposé, it’s been the remarkable story that keeps on giving.

From the perspective of the solution seller, what is truly fascinating is the focus on the small amounts.  When faced with a choice between enormous sums of misappropriation (ranging from the “flipping” of homes to avoid tens of thousands of capital gains tax or the trillions in growing public debt) or the seemingly small by comparison spend on trivial frivolity, amazingly it is the latter that has really gripped the public (and media’s) attention and raised their considerable ire.

There must be a message in here for sales pitches.  We all like to draw out a magnificently huge sum that we can either gift or quash, but who believes us anyway?  Perhaps it’s better to home in on a semi-jokey demonstration of what we’d enable that is so comic as to render larger figures irrelevant?  Here’s a list of what the reporters feel are the top 20 most outlandish claims so far.  What equivalents lurk unloved inside your current campaigns?

£5 eyeliner
£185 lightbulbs
£1,645 floating duck island
£1.50 ice cube tray
£134.30 carved elephant lamp
70p a bag horse manure
59p chocolate Santa
67p ginger crinkle biscuits
£1.31 jellied eels
£112.52 toilet seat
£2,115 moat cleaning
£609 hedge trimming around ‘helipad’
£598 overhaul of ride-on lawnmower
£600 hanging baskets
£1,200 leather rocking chair
£200 pair of Kenyan carpets
£4.47 dog food
£35 toilet roll holder
£1.19 tea light candles
£119 trouser press

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