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Castel Now Faces Big Problems

By David Richards | Sunday | 17/12/2006

COMMENT: When SmartHouse News first reported 14 months ago that Castel was set to be dumped as the distributor of the Toshiba brand Castel, Managing Director Michael Kwong accused us of lying.

Instead of asking us the basis of our story he decided in a very unprofessional manner to slam us with both resellers and other media organisations. He even threatened us with legal action for defamation.

His actions and the way he managed Castel are amongst the reasons why he has been dumped by one of the biggest CE brands in the world. Then there was his idiotic decision to openly criticise mass market CE resellers in a document where he was openly soliciting dollars from specialist resellers to take on mass market resellers like Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and others. These are the very customers who had the potential to deliver millions of dollars worth of revenue to Castel with the Toshiba brand.

What Michael Kwong has failed to do, because he lacks the skill set, is grow a brand with bucket loads of potential. His advertising, which was always done on the cheap, failed to position the brand. A guy playing a trumpet had nothing to do with the sheer quality found in the Toshiba CE brand which, when positioned correctly, will not only appeal to consumers, but when purchased deliver for them a real quality CE experience. And if he was half-serious about the CEDIA channel, he failed to show it by failing to market Castel via the CEDIA expo.

Already key staff have started to jump ship. Paul Astbury, who joined Castel several months ago from a senior marketing position in Yamaha, has joined Melbourne based distributor Qualifi. Others are set to look for jobs straight after Xmas.

Michael Kwong has left himself totally exposed by having 50 percent of his business in one brand, now he is set to pay the price.  

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