Own goal for Philips

Last week I received the most bizarre offer from Philips. A box of Philips goodies landed on my desk, and a letter addressed to me headlined: “Your ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.”

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By  Ben Dawson Published  April 30, 2006

|~||~||~|Own goal for Philips Last week I received the most bizarre offer from Philips. A box of Philips goodies landed on my desk, and a letter addressed to me headlined: “Your ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.” The letter, from Philips PR Manager Galia Rizk, went on to explain that Philips is a key sponsor of the World Cup – and if I played my cards right, I too could be there, all expenses paid. How? Rizk wrote: “During the upcoming two months, Philips news and product press releases will be sent out to selected newspapers/magazines. Each and every newspaper/magazine will get the chance to enter the game simply by giving greater attention to Philips news in the appropriate sections of your prominent titles…we will be looking for the best coverage in all titles to choose the winner….” Now I know what you’re thinking: the deal here is if I write a lot of nice things about Philips, I might get some free World Cup tickets. I called Rizk to clarify this, and she sent me the following statement: “The issued Philips letter to the media was merely part of our efforts to engage with some targeted media and not an offer for coverage. If the wordings of the letter led to some misrepresentation then, we sincerely apologise. We at Philips have been nurturing relationships with the media for decades and our record has been one of honesty and integrity. The letter in question communicates an exciting opportunity - a “game” in association with FIFA World Cup 2006 and is not a “conditional offer” (if/then) of any kind in exchange for coverage. This should not be labelled or perceived as a “bribe” (implied term) which goes against our general business principles and corporate value system. Philips holds the media and journalism in high regard and abides by media mandates. Philips respects the media’s discretion to choose stories based on their merit, relevance and newsworthiness.” That’s cleared that up then. I wonder, however, whether this article counts towards the kind of coverage Philips is looking for? HERE WE GO I just rembered: two weeks ago in our feature on Philips, we said that annual sales were US$30 million. This figure is of course wrong: we should have said EUROS 30.4 billion. My apologies to Philips for the mistake. But hey guess what, that's two Philips articles in one issue. I'm on my way to Germany, I'm on my way to Germany.. DU YOU SEE IT As I have been saying for the past few weeks, many insiders at du predict the new mobile services will not be available until sometime next year. A huge number of technical difficulties are said the be the reason for that. Some customers, of course, already have first hand knowledge of du in action. It purchased the DIC Telecoms company, to provide television services for Emaar properties in many parts of Dubai. But for several hours last weekend, the entire network went black. Many residents on The Greens properties had just gathered to watch the Manchester United v Chelsea FA Cup clash last Saturday when the problem first started. I somehow doubt many of them will be switching their mobile services to du. LAZY DAYS So after all the hype, Robbie Williams finally made it to Dubai last week for a one off show. Fans and media had been expecting the star to stay at the Burj Al Arab, and do the expected photo shoot with royalty and business leaders. Instead, he and a group of close friends checked into the Fairmont Hotel the night before the show, spent the evening at Trilogy nightclub, performed a sell-out show the following night and promptly flew out on a private jet a few hours later. ||**||

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