Thursday

Thursday 15/08/2002To the Institute of Contemporary Art on Pall Mall, where top PR company Bite are holding their -- brace yourself -- Christmas in August spectacular. Loads of companies crowd into two un-air-conditioned rooms on the hottest day of the year, set up lots of monitors and PCs to increase the room temperature just that little bit closer to the surface of the sun, and show off their wares to a bunch of sweaty journalists.

Thursday 15/08/2002
To the Institute of Contemporary Art on Pall Mall, where top PR company Bite are holding their -- brace yourself -- Christmas in August spectacular. Loads of companies crowd into two un-air-conditioned rooms on the hottest day of the year, set up lots of monitors and PCs to increase the room temperature just that little bit closer to the surface of the sun, and show off their wares to a bunch of sweaty journalists. By and large, it was a success. Lots of keen PRs and marketing people -- some rather unsettlingly wearing T-shirts marked "Bite my bunny!" -- piled on the glad-handing and us hacks got our mitts on some very nice toys, albeit briefly The best bit was on Epson's trestle table. A long line of printers sat there, churning away, flashing their lights and looking very busy. I rattled off a few digital pictures, then zoomed in on the model numbers on the front panel -- odd, I didn't recognise them. A marketing woman popped up in microseconds and screamed "What are you doing?". Er, taking pictures of your printers? The ones you're showing to journalists? "You can't do that!" she said. "But I have." I said. "But you've got to sign this non-disclosure agreement, otherwise..." She trailed off. I shrugged happily. Now, I didn't know her, she didn't know me, and she was clearly unsure just how serious I was. She went for the sympathy vote. "But they're not launched yet, and we're not telling people about them until the launch, and we really don't want pictures appearing on some Web site, it would be such a disaster..." "Do you know," I mused outloud, "I work for a Web site. Could have them up in minutes." I think that was over-egging the pudding, because at this point she smiled, held up the NDA form and wagged her finger. I signed, of course, not being cruel. And as a result, I can't show you the pictures -- which I have here -- or tell you when the launch is, and probably can't even mention that Epson will at some point in the future be producing some new printers. So they won't. Right?

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