No Santa (unles you are an AMEX holder)

Amazing PR disaster by AMEX over the Christmas period. One to learn from

An American Express Christmas promotion with The Pacific Place shopping centre has turned sour after non-Centurion card holders and their kids were barred from seeing Santa. What is shaping up to be pre-Christmas PR disaster, one outraged consumer said the Amex Santa campaign was "flawed".

Nick Sutcliffe, executive director for The Conference Board, took his kids to see Santa but was rejected as he did not have the required Amex card. "Children have no concept of Amex's marketing campaign, but for parents having to tell their children that they cannot see Santa, that's good enough reason to cancel their subscription with Amex," Sutcliffe said. "I watched countless families being sent away with children crying. If this is designed to endear me to Amex, they failed I will be returning my Amex card," he added.

Access to Centurion cards is by invite only.

A spokesperson from American Express International said the promotional period to enter the Santa House for Amex cardholders ran from 6 to 9 December and was clearly stated in all marketing collateral. Questioned over the exclusivity of the promotion, she could not be drawn on details.

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