Libya, Syria… is Norfolk next?

I had intended this blog to cover all aspects of information governance including marketing, but unfortunately, my anorak’s habit of reading terms and conditions has already got the better of me in a possibly irrelevant way.


In Waitrose’s weekly magazine, they had a competition sponsored by Jordan’s Cereals to win a weekend in Norfolk. As always, the terms and conditions seek to ensure that if Anything Happens, the promoters will not be in the frame for any legal action. However, I have to assume that Jordan’s are using some kind of parent company devised for a prize trip to a Disaster Movie, because the alternative foresees a nightmarish future for Norfolk. Forget the torment in the Middle East and the tropical storm in New York, it’s all apparently coming to East Anglia


The first bit is covers the corporate back in general terms:


“The Jordan’s & Ryvita Company Limited accepts no responsibility for any damage, loss, liabilities, injury or disappointment incurred or suffered by You as a result of entering the 
Competition to accepting any prize”. 


Now, I’m with Jordan’s here. If the winner doesn’t enjoy their trip to Pensthorpe, or the runners-up find their Emma Bridgewater bowls to be less than delightful, I don’t think they should be able to sue anyone for ‘Disappointment’. I’ve been disappointed by something pretty much every day since I was nine, and I’ve always accepted it as a character flaw rather than an opportunity for litigation.


However, the next bit sounds like legal brainstorming gone a little too far. I say again, the winner goes to Norfolk.


“The Jordans & Ryvita Company Limited shall not be liable for any failure to comply with its obligations where the failure is caused by something outside of its reasonable control. Such circumstances shall include, but not be limited to weather conditions, fire, flood, hurricane, strike, industrial dispute, war, hostilities, political unrest, riots, civil commotion, accidents, supervening legislation, or any other circumstances amounting to force majeure.”


I’m assuming that plague, alien invasion and Giant Lovesick Ape from Skull Island are wrapped up in ‘any other circumstances’. There’s a town not a million miles away from me that does look like it has suffered a hurricane, but generally speaking, unless the winner has cheated death in a Final Destination movie, I don’t believe Norfolk is likely to play host to any of the anticipated calamities. Or is this simply an awful portent of what is to come?

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