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It is Alastair's birthday today and he is a fan of The Fett so I simply couldn't resist making him an awesomely geeky cake. The result was this Boba Fett Helmet cake!
Black Velvet and Strawberry cake layers separated by melted Bar One chocolate, coated in the same and then decorated with Fondant and edible powder painting techniques.
The Rangefinder is the only inedible part of the cake and is a chopstick covered in painted fondant topped by an acrylic-painted cardboard box for maximum lightness.
As most of you are aware, I took part in the online voting contest. I was actually doing quite well and just over a week before the end of the contest I was actually in first place. Then AXE decided that we had been cheating and summarily suspended the accounts of the Top 5.
I contacted the contest organisers and fought with them for a week solid about the suspension. They would accuse us of wrongdoing and I would disprove their accusation. They accuse us of something else, I disproved that too. Every accusation they threw at us was proven to be invalid. We did not break any of the contest rules. We did not contravene a single T&C. Yet they maintained that we were in the wrong and would not listen to logic or reason.
A day before the contest was due to close they had no arguments left to fight with so they invoked Promoter rights which allowed them to change the method by which the winners would be chosen. Instead of the Top 3 profiles, they had decided to take the Top 15 profiles at close of voting, plus the 5 unfairly suspended accounts and have a lucky draw out of those 20 for the 3 tickets. We were promised that the lucky draw would be audited by a third party and that we would have the results on March 1st. We could not argue against promoter rights, and a 3 in 20 chance in the lucky draw was better than being DQ'd entirely.
March 1st came and went and we heard nothing. I gave them an extra week before making inquiries. Myself and all the others were repeatedly spun a story that they were performing an audit of the entries into the contest to make sure they had the right Top15 and we must please be patient. As time went by we all became more and more convinced that they were rigging the contest results to suit their marketing campaign. Entrants in other avenues of the contest were also kept waiting for their results.
We waited over 2 months, with every request being met with the same story or silence.
Finally, last week, we all received a very formal letter via email from Unilever informing us that we were not in the Top 3 and would not be going to Space Camp. It turns out they had, without notifying anybody, changed the winner selection method back to using the online votes. They had made up a bunch of extra rules and got PWC to perform an "audit" on the online votes using their newly devised ruleset. The new rules they had made up were essentially the exact same non-existent rules they had claimed we had violated to begin with. PWC even stated in the audit confirmation letter we were sent that the "audit" had not been performed according to internationally accepted auditing standards.
I thought long and hard about fighting back. They had blatantly gone back on their word and imposed additional rules. In the end I realised that I don't want to be associated with a brand and a company that behaves in such a ridiculous manner. Rather than accept responsibility for running a flawed contest, accepting that we had done nothing wrong and reinstating our profiles to win as we deserved, they instead chose to anger and alienate a large group of people who had put a lot of time and effort into participating in their campaign.
Their "audit" came up with three winners who are undoubtedly ecstatic about going to Space Camp. Good on them. They are completely unaware of the controversy, unfair practices and major fighting that took place behind the scenes. I hope they have a great time at Space Camp.
Finally I can put the great Axe Apollo Space Academy contest disaster of 2013 behind me. From global sexism (women were banned from entering is several countries) to the South African Stuff-Up, Unilever and AXE have managed to stumble their way through what, in my opinion, was the worst managed global contest in the history of mankind.
I used to have respect for Unilever. I even considered working for them. I cannot get back the thousands of hours that myself, my friends and my family put into the contest, campaigning and voting. I will always appreciate their hard work and effort, and their steadfast support during the fight with Unilever and the waiting for news.
Unilever, your brand has been done a great disservice through the actions of your contest organisers. I sincerely hope that they do not embarrass you further as the contest moves into the next phases.
Thanks for reading, folks.
TL;DR: Axe and Unilever suspended the Top 5 for cheating, and when unable to prove their accusations changed to a lucky draw instead. Except they didn't, and 3 months later they notified the "losers" of this fact, having "audited" (improperly) the online votes using non-existent rules derived directly from the accusations they were unable to prove to begin with. Major brand fail.
The way he reasons, and tells a story to paint a vivid picture of what is and what can be is a skill that very few people have mastered even partly as well as he has.
- University of PretoriaBEng - Industrial Engineering, 2009
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Tracey's Culinary Adventures: Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
7305681174_217a99e8e5_oe. Is there anything better than a mini dessert? They really are my favorite. I always make them with the best of int