Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grocery Store admits 'Extreme Couponing' Fakery

The "real" couponing forums have been all abuzz over the TLC show "Extreme Couponing," insisting that scenes must be staged and store coupon policies have to be waived for the show.  The concern is that the portrayal of using coupons this way gives viewers unrealistic expectations for their couponing adventures and encourages bad behavior. Not to mention that the show makes anyone in the store with a coupon binder look like they must be a kook.

So, it was interesting to come across this news report about upcoming episodes filmed in a store in North Carolina. The store regrets the decision to participate and admits that they waived their normal coupon policy and that a publicized scene from the show about a couponing "shelf clearer" was staged by the crew.

Watch clip:

This season was Lowes Foods' first time participating in the show, and it wasn't pleased with the experience.
"If we had it to do over again, we would not have done it," said Lisa Selip, a corporate spokeswoman for Lowes Foods who said the show was full of misrepresentations and sensationalism. "Hindsight is 20/20."
A case in point, she said, is contained in a promotional clip recently released online. It shows a man arriving in the grocery aisle seconds too late to purchase an energy bar after an extreme coupon shopper put every last bar into her cart.
"The guy who walked up to the shelf was one of the crew members," Selip said. "It was all staged."
She said Lowes, which considers itself a coupon-friendly retailer, initially thought the show would be a great way to showcase its stores nationally. "Call it maybe being slightly naïve," she said.
Selip says the chain deeply regrets its decision to participate in the show. "My hope is our customers know we're a company of integrity and they'll understand we made a mistake."
That anger could come from coupon clippers who'll see people on he show using more than 20 coupons a day. Selip acknowledged that the company waived part of its policy for the benefit of TV cameras.
TLC spokeswoman Niki Kazakos said in a written statement that the network expects the coupon shoppers "to understand and follow their stores' coupon policies."

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