UPDATED: Harvey Norman totally rejects LG’s event cancellation story

By Patrick Avenell

UPDATED: Harvey Norman and LG Electronics have very different versions of events regarding an event that may or may not have been planned to celebrate the sale of the first LG Ultra HD TV in Australia.

The first version of events, provided by LG and published below in italics, has been contested by Harvey Norman director David Ackery. According to Ackery, Harvey Norman was unaware that any event was ever due to take place and that LG's version of the story is "totally untrue". Ackery told Current.com.au that no event was cancelled as no event was ever scheduled.

Current.com.au did make attempts to contact Harvey Norman before publishing the below story. We were lead to believe an event was planned based on this invite we received yesterday (Thursday 29 November 2012) from LG's public relations agency of record, LG One (part of Ogilvy Worldwide):

(reprinted in full)

Media Vision Alert

Tomorrow, LG’s world first 84 inch Ultra High Definition (HD) TV will go on sale in Australia, providing Australians with the world’s best and most advanced picture quality available in home entertainment, just in time for Christmas.

Harvey Norman executive Chairman, Gerry Harvey, will be personally making the first sale at his store in Caringbah, congratulating the first Australian customer to purchase an Ultra HD TV.

Ultra HD is the newest standard in picture display and brings a resolution of 3840 x2160 pixels, which is four times the definition of existing full HD TVs when viewing Ultra HD content. 
WHEN: Thursday 30th November, 2012
TIME:  11:00am
WHERE: Harvey Norman,  220 Taren Point Road  Caringbah NSW 2229
Interview and vision opportunities:
•         Retailer Gerry Harvey  personally selling the LG’s world  first 84 inch Ultra HD TV, for visual presence this will be insitu of a working model
•         First customer to purchase the LG 84 inch Ultra High Definition TV
•         The LG 84 inch Ultra High Definition TV and Ultra High Definition Content
•         LG National Sales Director, Michael Doyle to discuss LG’s Ultra High Definition TV and trends around Australian TV purchasing and demand for larger TVs

It is fairly common for retailers and suppliers to hold joint events such as this one and Current.com.au did not think it necessary at the time to verify that this event was indeed legitimate.

SECOND UPDATE: Respected rival journalist Campbell Simpson from PC World Australia has posted an image he captured at Harvey Norman Caringbah this morning. Simpson writes that he attended the store after receiving the same invite printed above that Current.com.au received. The image shows an LG TV labeled "The World's First 84inch Ultra HD TV" in the middle of a store, with a red carpet leading to it.

The original story refuted by David Ackery:

The joint Harvey Norman and LG Electronics Australia media event to celebrate the sale of LG’s first Ultra High Definition TV was cancelled this morning when the pre-arranged customer pulled out at short notice.

Senior sources inside LG Electronics have confirmed to Current.com.au that a schedule conflict meant the customer, believed to be a Sydney businessman from the local area, was unable to attend the Harvey Norman Caringbah store to complete the transaction with Harvey Norman executive chairman Gerry Harvey.

Current.com.au yesterday revealed that LG planned on attending the Caringbah store with Harvey in a pre-arranged publicity event that was expected to generate coverage across print, internet and TV media.

When the customer contacted Harvey Norman to tell them he could not make the event, Harvey decided not to attend. LG sources have told Current.com.au that Harvey Norman did not pass this message on to LG national sales director Michael Doyle or to LG’s external public relations company, meaning neither LG nor the invited media were aware of the cancellation.

The LG 84-inch Ultra High Definition TV (84LM9600, RRP $15,999) is the most expensive TV available at general retail in Australia. It is one of only two Ultra High Definition TVs currently on the market — the other is Sony’s 84-inch “4K” TV (KD-84X9000, RRP $24,999), which is only available from Sony Centres.

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