Sunday, December 16, 2007

New Company offers themed gifts for those barely known friends and family

It is always difficult to know what gifts to give many members of the family or friends at this time of year. One Leeds based entrepreneur has moved to fill a niche in the market for those of us with a long list of people to buy for, of which we have limited personal knowledge.

“A lot of people at work, or branches of the family we only see at Christmas, know little about me other than I play golf,” said Martin Billingsworth. “Every Christmas or birthday I receive a collection of various golf-themed socks, or a couple of tees with a Golf ball patterned hip-flask. Whatever the BHS Christmas section is selling really.”

It was the problem of buying for distant family members or unloved friends that gave Mr Billingsworth the idea for his own range of themed presents. His company 'Ticking Box Gifts' has thousands of re-branded items to help those shopping for people that they don't really know that well.

“We probably have the gift to match that small basic piece of information which is all you know about someone,” he said showing off his company's versions of time-honoured games.

“For example, for the Uncle you barely know because he has been away from home for so many years, we have ‘Monopoly: VAT Fraud Edition',” said Billingsworth. “We cater for all age and price ranges with games such as ‘Snap: Alzheimers Quick-Play'. That is from our 99p range, the deck only has two cards.”

Mr Billingsworth denied charges that he was profiteering from people's misfortune and treating potentially serious issues with a lack of respect.

“I am helping people with that difficult Christmas purchase for those awkward family visits. What else could you buy someone when the only thing you may know about them is that they suffer from a learning difficulty?” he asked holding up the Dyslexic Edition of Scrabble ‘With extra Zs and Xs'.

However, despite Martin Billingsworth's protestations to the contrary, public outcry has caused Ticking Box Games to withdraw a hundred thousand units of ‘Operation: Childhood Leukaemia Edition'.

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