Last week’s PR debacle involving LG Electronics and Harvey Norman begs the question “what went wrong” as both organisations blame each other.Pulse Communications, which is a 100% owned subsidiary of Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations, told media organisations last week that the Chairman of Harvey Norman was set to unveil LG’s new flagship 84″ Ultra High Definition TV at one of his NSW stores.
The only problem is that Gerry Harvey swears he knew nothing about the event. He says he was at his Auburn store watching the new product being put on the showroom floor and not at his Caringbah store which was some 40 kilometres away.
Pulse Communications, who sent out the invitation on the day prior to the event, is blaming LG management for the debacle, with Kelly Drew, the Account Supervisor on the LG Account, claiming she was acting under instructions from LG management.
Even LG’s recently appointed PR Manager Philip Anderson was clueless as to what was happening minutes before the red carpet event. He went searching for someone at the Harvey Norman store to give him answers as to the whereabouts of LG and Harvey Norman management who were supposed to be attending the media event.
David Ackery, the General Manager of Electrical and a Director at Harvey Norman, claims his Company “knew nothing about the event”.
Kelly Drew from Pulse Communications has a different spin on the story; she claims senior management at the retailer did know and that Harvey Norman management had told LG management Gerry Harvey would be there.
A central figure in the drama is Ben Maddison, the franchisee of the Harvey Norman Caringbah store, where the event was set to take place.
Maddison has not returned calls to ChannelNews on this issue.
What we want to know is why one of LG’s new $15,999 Ultra High Definition TVs was set up on the floor of Maddison’s Harvey Norman store with space all around it if there was no media event planned as Ackery has claimed.
TV set up for the media event that Harvey Norman management said they knew nothing about.
Other large TVs, including the Samsung 75″ hero TV, were all packed in together behind the LG hero TV which had been given centre stage in the Harvey Norman store.
Click to enlarge
|Other TV’s were packed in close together.|
And why did Harvey Norman staff at the store tell ChannelNews that a media event was set to take place?
Michael Doyle, the Sales Director at LG, told ChannelNews late on Friday night that his Company took responsibility for not telling media organisations the event was cancelled. He openly took responsibility claiming it was LG’s event and not the responsibility of Harvey Norman to keep the media informed.
LG Electronics is a credible organisation who has some great products deserving of media attention. The only problem is that their media programs in the past have been poorly executed by Pulse Communications.
The LG 84-inch Ultra High Definition TV (84LM9600, RRP $15,999) is one of the most expensive TVs available in Australia. It is one of only two Ultra High Definition TVs currently on sale in Australia. The Company will shortly launch a brand new Android Smartphone the Optima G which is already being touted as one the best smartphones in the world today.
Their French door fridges are market leaders with the Company delivering on promises to dramatically improve the functionality of the home refrigerator. They are also a leader in air conditioning and their new IPS 27″ monitor is among the best available for a home office and gaming.
Maybe it is time for a total overhaul of LG PR.
Over at Samsung their Korean competitors have a well-oiled PR machine. Their PR Company Edelman has totally restructured around this account with senior communication consultants now playing a major role in the Company’s branding and messaging.
LG has the brand and the products, all they need is a commitment to PR and a team who can deliver for them when they roll out new products which they plan to do next year following the 2013 CES show in Las Vegas.