[LINK] RFID Beat-up in Oz IT
Richard.Chirgwin at informa.com.au
Tue Feb 3 14:53:14 EST 2004
Roger et al,
RFID is on the "placement" list. It was strongly criticised and protested
against in 2002 and 2003 (Tesco, Benneton and Wal-Mart among other stories),
and the industry is now working very hard to place positive stories in the
If you want evidence of a media strategy at work, try this:
- Futurehome (in Holland); Australian TV news running "news" stories of an
event which took place late last year, using prepacked footage supplied by
the European marketing departments; the stories were edited to focus on
"smart labels" which would protect your clothes against the wrong washing
- Positive spin in agriculture (RFID tags protect cows from theft; RFID
tagging improves Australian wine);
- Positive spin in retailing (the Courier-Mail).
The aim, of course, is to spread the message, "what's good for RFID is good
Want the perfect example? Try this headline: Farmers milk RFID for its
full-cream data value (Computerworld). Well, that promises us a neutral
stance, doesn't it?
Another string to the strategy is, or will be, purchasing conference
speaking slots with sponsorship dollars (depending on the conference, this
will soak up between $15 and $50k for a 30 minute "opportunity").
Now, how's the strategy going?
For this, I've searched the members-only IT journalists' Website,
www.itjourno.com.au. It lists 26 RFID stories from the local IT media.
Actually, there are only 22, because some are duplicates. Of those 22 items:
- seven are neutral (chiefly referring to sales contracts, "Vendor X Takes
Retailer RFID Contract")
- six are 'negative' (interest declaration: five of these were my own
commentaries on various aspects of RFID, including privacy, data security
and data ownership)
- nine are positive (five of these from a single outlet)
Note: this is not a comprehensive list of RFID stories, even in Australia;
just a representative sample.
All of the positive RFID stories were sourced from press releases (most of
them can be found at vendors' websites).
So there's a very strong media strategy in place; there's an industry whose
success is very important to some very large vendors; is it any wonder the
analysts are lining up?
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