No giggling matter

Mid Valley Shopping Centre has apologised to disgruntled mothers after it was accused of an advertising ploy over the highly anticipated appearance by a children’s entertainer.

Hundreds of parents who had packed the shopping centre on Saturday were left frustrated, and their children emotional, after the appearance by Jimmy Giggle – of the ABC duo Giggle and Hoot – was different than expected.

Based on a flyer circulated by Mid Valley, parents had expected to see Mr Giggle perform two shows, one at 11am and one at 1pm, with a meet-and-greet at midday.

But they were disappointed to find there was no performance, just a meet-and-greet.

“It was a ploy to get people in the door, but at the end of the day, you don’t disappoint people like that,” Traralgon mother Monica MacGregor said.

Ms MacGregor said the situation was particularly disappointing for parents who had traveled from all over Gippsland.

“Clearly, they advertised this so they could get as many people over there to spend their money in the centre, because if you came from Moe or further, as if you were going to turn back and go home, you’re going to stay there for lunch,” she said.

Mid Valley Centre manager Sjaala Harbridge said up until Mr Giggle took to the stage, she was of the understanding that he would do an interactive appearance that included material from his show, along with the meet and greet.

“We really do appreciate that customers may have felt frustrated with the crowd, waiting time and lines to see Jimmy Giggle,” Ms Harbridge said.

“Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, Jimmy was only able to do the meet and greet session with his fans. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience.”