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Dixons rises from the ashes

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

PC WorldYou may remember Dixons, the highstreet electrical retailer that was absurdly rebranded as Currys.digital (their pointless dot and italics, not mine).

You may also remember its wonderful press department which secured it regular free advertising via the national media, by putting out stories about items which it would no longer stock. As I detailed in a post with a remarkably prescient title, it received national coverage when it stopped selling analogue radios, 35mm cameras, video recorders, and the computer game Manhunt.

These stories each generated acres of positive press coverage about the futuristic and ‘ahead of the curve’ style of Dixons, for virtually no cost to the company itself. Now that’s good PR – It wouldn’t make sense to sack people like that just because a brand is disappearing.

And, indeed, it appears that the PRs’ jobs were safe – the Dixons press department appears to have shifted across to a different part of the same group of companies. Earlier this year, PC World received much coverage for its decision to stop selling floppy disks – possibly a little too ahead of the curve, given that 700,000,000 of the things are still sold each year.

And on this morning’s commute, I note yet more press coverage, since PC World have decided to stop stocking CRT monitors. Again, possibly too ahead of the curve, given that CRTs are still preferred by many graphics professionals.

How many times can national media outlets be conned into printing an almost identical story, which is effectively an advert for the same group of companies? Six at least, it would appear.

If that isn’t a depressing commentary on journalism today, then I’m not sure what is.

This post was filed under: Media.

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Comments and responses

Comment from Jonathan Rothwell


    23.37, 14/11/2007

Someone finally got round to replacing that fuse then…


Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)


    21.52, 16/12/2007

Fuse?


Comment from Nick Freestone


    20.41, 22/01/2008

Well they’re at it again –

Typical really…


Trackback from elsewhere on the site



23:10
23rd January 2008.

This post has been referenced by another on this site:
sjhoward.co.uk » Dixons: At it again




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