Lord Dodo (sorry, Kitchener) WANTS YOU!

#DodoPadFact File A series of occasional posts bringing you a little more background about some of the more unusual or unexpected facts recorded in Dodo Pad and Acad-Pad diaries…

Lord-Kitchener

Who is Lord Kitchener? Horatio Kitchener was a national war hero in WWI born on this day in 1850 in County Kerry, Ireland.

He is perhaps most famous for the iconic recruitment poster:  “Your country needs YOU”. This famous advertisement was responsible for the enlistment of millions of men and has since become one of the most recognised propaganda pieces of the war.

Despite its huge success, only 10,000 copies of the poster were made and now, sadly, only three survive. Two hang proudly on display in museums on different sides of the world – one being the Imperial War Museum, London, and the other in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. The third poster was put up for sale in 2014 and fetched a staggering £30,000. The previous owner bought the poster for £100 in 1983 – we’d call that a pretty good return on investment.

A bit more than a face on a poster…
Horatio Herbert Kitchener wasn’t just a face on famous poster though. He was a British military leader and statesmen in the First World War. He foresaw the war lasting several years, rather than months, and planned accordingly, despite being in the minority among his colleagues who thought this. Thankfully, due to his military prowess and foresight he was able to organise armies on an unprecedented scale.

He vastly expanded the army from 20 to 70 divisions within two years – known as Kitchener’s Army. Kitchener effectively oversaw war strategy for the first year-and-a-half of the war. After the Battle of Mons in 1914 he traveled to Ypres to stiffen the weakening resolve of Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Sadly, his cabinet colleagues did not share the public’s love for Kitchener and following an attack by Lord Northcliffe’s newspaper in 1915 over a shortage of shells, responsibility for munitions was taken from him; later that year he was stripped of control over strategy.

His involvement with the Dardanelles campaign led to a further tarnishing of his reputation in the cabinet. In June 1916, Kitchener was sent on a mission to Russia to encourage Russian resistance to Germany. Kitchener’s ship, H.M.S Hampshire struck a German mine off the coast of Orkney and sank. Kitchener sadly drowned on 5th June 1916.

#DodoPadFact File

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#thanksabundle for an amazing school year!

Thanksabundle-competition

It’s that time of year again where the sun is shining (hopefully!), sports day is just round the corner and we’re on the final straight for the end of another school year.

We all want to thank our children’s teachers for doing a wonderful job, helping them out and encouraging them to be the best they can be. I can still remember my primary school teacher, who made me feel on top of the world!

To help you, we thought we would run a competition with our ‘Thanksabundle’ gift set which includes our 2016/17 Acad Pad diary, a Dodo Blank Book, a crystal tipped pen and a pen loop (to attach to the Acad Pad and hold the pen!) – a perfect end of year gift for your favourite teacher and you can have a bit of fun at the same time.

All you/your child has to do, is simply tell us why that teacher is THE best – what have they done that makes you want to nominate them?

This is the fun part: to enter you or your child can be as creative as you like! You can either produce a beautiful picture, a handwritten note or a simple tweet to explain why your teacher is the best.

Please tweet us @lord_dodo and make sure you include the hashtag #thanksabundle together with your teacher’s name, the school your child attends and their age. We will share every single entry we receive. Lord Dodo will pick three winners who will be announced on Monday 27th June.

Thank you for taking part – we can’t wait to see your entries! Most of all have fun and be creative 🙂

Happy Summertime Greetings!

dodopad.com

Dodo Pad ‘Thanksabundle’ Competition 2016 – Terms and Conditions

● The competition is open to all residents in the UK, excluding employees of Dodo Pad Ltd. and its affiliates or agents, the families of such employees and any other person connected with this competition. Please note condition regarding delivery of prizes below.

● There are three Thanksabundle Gift Set prizes available comprising a 2016/17 Acad-Pad desk diary, a Dodo Blank Book, a pen loop and matching pen.

● The competition commences on Monday 13th June and will run for two weeks until Friday 24th June.

● Entry is via tweets posted which include the #thanksabundle hashtag which must be posted by no later than 5pm (BST) Friday 24th June. Tweets must include the name of the teacher, the school and the age of the child commenting on why they are the best. This can be in words or via a picture drawn by your child.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. will not be liable for competition entries not received or delayed after the closing date and time.

● The three winners will be announced by Monday 27th June and winners must provide details to claim their prize by Friday 1st July 2016 for dispatch the following week.

● Winners are responsible for providing a UK delivery address to which the prize may be delivered at any time during normal UK working hours. The prize is as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability due to circumstances beyond their control.

● By entering this competition, winners agree to their email address being kept on a secure database for the purposes of future communications from Dodo Pad Ltd. Details will never be shared with any third parties for marketing purposes without express prior permission.

● Entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

● Dodo Pad Ltd. reserves the right to terminate or cancel this competition at any time without prior notice.

 

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Dodo Pad – the future: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Dodo Pad is transforming the way we do business to secure our future after seeing our profits hit heavily by increasing High Street retail demands and huge online discounts that have been out of our control.

Cover-image-Jan-2015

Our much loved brand has been around for 50 years now and we’re clamping down on the range being sold through Amazon and eBay at hugely discounted prices and we will no longer sell our diaries in John Lewis stores – which has been a flagship retail partner for 20 years.

Instead, we will regain control of distribution and concentrate on selling our products through our own website www.dodopad.com where we are able to offer our direct customers the best discounts and deals. We will continue to sell a selection of the range in branches of Waterstones and WH Smith and will only sell on Amazon and eBay through our own official channels.

Why are we doing this? Well, volume sales have maintained a steady increase year-on-year overall but, despite this, we’ve been hit financially due to an increasing attack on our already tight margins by big High Street retailers and Amazon and eBay re-sellers.

We are not the only ones suffering here! The issue is symptomatic of the situation faced by thousands of other small companies nationally, as multiple retailers demand bigger chunks of supplier margins in order to allow them to remain profitable.

I’ve been forced to take this action to secure the healthy future of the business and ensure that the Dodo Pad brand doesn’t become extinct. There are a number of factors responsible for the current situation, including:

  • The recession in 2008, causing everyone to think carefully about expenditure
  • The growth of Amazon and eBay, fuelled by the recession, creating an expectancy for huge discounts on products
  • Re-sellers taking the opportunity to make money from the growth of these online giants. (Re-sellers sell the products on Amazon and eBay at unrealistically low prices and then make their money from postage contributions, meaning the supplier or manufacturer is left with practically nothing)
  • High Street retailers responding to this by asking for typically 75% of suppliers’ margins in order to compete with the low prices

Dodo Pad’s prices have not been increased above inflation over the past seven years and have barely been raised at all in the past three years.

The situation has really deteriorated too far. Enough is enough is enough. Brands have been under attack for the past seven years. The recession started in 2008, quickly followed by the huge growth of Amazon between 2009 and 2013.

The recession is not over and people’s attitudes have changed irrevocably in that the default position for most of us – right across the social spectrum – is to look for a bargain, part-fuelled by the recession which hit everybody who needed to worry about disposable income, coupled with the availability of products at a discount because of the rise of the internet.

The fact is that we are selling as many, if not more, of our diaries but making far less money and we have had to make a big decision about the way we do business in order to secure the future of the brand, which continues to be well loved by customers old and new.

We will continue to sell a selection of our diary ranges through WH Smith and Waterstones and to supply selected distributors, but we’ll be imposing strict conditions on re-sellers who wish to list on Amazon or eBay.

We will also continue to supply selected independent retailers to sell the brand in their stores or on their own websites. Bricks and mortar retailers will be able to sell our diaries and calendars and compete with the online price without the cost of post and packaging on top, so hopefully this will go some not insignificant way towards helping them too.

This is all about making relatively small changes that have a big impact. Dodo Pad is a brand that continues to be adored after 50 years. We have customers who have been using Dodo Pads for decades and we continue to attract new users who share the same passion. It truly is a brand that is treasured.

We are fighting to ensure the Dodo Pad brand does not become extinct so we’re around for the next 50 years.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Rebecca Jay, Managing Director

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