Financial Times' response to ad-cutting threat from HP is great

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@beschizza the original column link is paywalled. :frowning:

And at least from what I gather on occasion from the HP techs I am quite surprised they are still in business though to be fair their server hardware is good stuff.


Headline repair:

Financial Times’ response to ad-cutting threat from HP is a bit mild and passive-aggressive, but otherwise okay

It is, of course, possible that you aren’t to blame for any of this, and the order came from on high. I want to think well of Ms Whitman. I adore eBay, which she made great. She may have said something daft at Davos — and, as I pointed out in my column, she was in very good company there — so I don’t want to believe she told you to write to me. Please tell me it isn’t so.

Phew! Strong stuff.


Since Murdoch acquired the WSJ, where else can the Anglophone reader go for reliable information? The FT’s reputation is worth more than HP’s.


This happens all the time.

Clay Shirky is particularly fond of the time Ford tried to pressure the NY times over reporting on unsafe cares (Pintos blowing up when rear ended, if memory serves).

Sadly, newspapers are less and less able to resist this pressure, to the point that even a 2nd tier advertiser like HP thinks it is worth trying.


Aw, c’mon. This is Hewlett Packard. They can do better.

Like when HP was spying on journalists to find a leak, including examining their phone records and those of their relatives. It wasn’t just about spying. It was about putting pressure on reporters to avoid bad press. As Groklaw put it:

At CNET, for example, none of the three can now cover HP. So is there damage to those journalists’ careers? […] If you are a tech reporter, and now you can’t cover a major tech company, are you damaged? Worse, might a cynical corporation wishing to get a good journalist off a story deliberately tail them so as to get the journalist banned from covering them from that point on? After covering SCO, one thinks of everything as being conceivable.

Pressuring a reporter by simply threatening to pull advertising, is amateurish.


Smeg Whitman wants to be California’s Gov, again?

Plus I will just put this right here!

It was this many:


It’s not even HP, guys :stuck_out_tongue:

The company split in two last year.

What’s hilarious is that Whitman’s little minion had the nerve to object to the article making a snide comment about the Autonomy acquisition. HP paid a 79% premium over market price, a cool $11.7 billion and ended up writing down $8.8 billion on the acquisition and suing everyone in sight for alleged accounting improprieties in an attempt to explain how they so boldly overpaid. HP got absolutely hammered on that deal; and even the most sympathetic narratives admit that, at best, they vastly overpaid for a strategic acquisition; and less sympathetic observers aren’t so sure about the ‘strategic’ part.

It simply isn’t possible to be too snide about a fuckup of that magnitude. Either Gomez is an obedient little hatchetman or he lives in a somewhat different reality from the rest of us, or both.


Yeah, you only complain about “PR smarminess” when it goes wrong, i.e. someone doing something as stupid as threatening journalists. When it’s well done, it often generates content for media, including this blog.

But is the resulting media interesting or socially useful? I think it’s quite easy to argue that hoping to influence people in any way is generally a poor substitute for us each devising our best informed opinions.


I don’t think we run much PR-sourced material at all here. I’m not saying we wouldn’t (or don’t now and again, maybe?) but it’s all submissions, finds, and aggregation. PR is just the spam I can’t block.


In America they would kiss HP’s butt and retract. The all-mighty dollar is the only authority in U.S. journalism.


Again? HP was a single company for 76 years… They may have sold things off but the Hewlett Packard Enterprise/HP Inc split was pretty huge.

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IJBU was big only because it was stupidly in control of its market. Agilent (like Lucent, only agile) was the heart of the only interesting shit HP did. That split is why I know that Perkins and Lew Platt were the real villains. Not Fiorina. She’s just a corporate robot and useful scapegoat. Whitman hasn’t had a chance to ratfuck that company. She got to it post-ratfucking.


A lot of what we (PR/communications people) do is behind the scenes, and often that’s sort of the point. It can a) be smarmy, dishonest and gross b) be about making sure that word gets out about things happening c) both at the same time.

People who do things often have no clue how to let other people know about those things - take the everyday example of someone who’s a hard worker but doesn’t know how to advocate for themselves in a job. You probably wouldn’t know about any new Apple releases if it weren’t for PR professionals, have many fairs or conferences you enjoy, hear about a lot of products, or have access to an excerpt of the Terry Gilliam memoir featured in the publisher’s particularly well-designed website.

Agilent spinning off isn’t a company literally splitting and two and Hewlett-Packard just not existing anymore. Besides, you are not mentioning the half of the company Meg actually cares about - the one she is now in control of.

many papers avoid this by self censorship !

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Tell me, Ms. Kellaway, what good is your journalistic independence if you are unable to PRINT!