By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Sony’s Bravia with a free Blu-ray player ends tomorrow night, with the supplier thus far giving away just over half of the allotted 20,000 Blu-ray devices. This promotion has been criticised by some news agencies, with one retailer being quoted saying that it has prevented him from upselling, thus resulting in a loss of profit.

Despite this criticism, Sony visual product manager Jan Ergen has declared this sales promotion a success.

“We are pleased with the success of the promotion so far and feedback from retailers indicates that it has indeed stimulated sales of Motionflow-enabled Bravia LCD TVs,” said Ergen. “The promotion is driving people into stores at a time where there is more economic uncertainty, and it’s definitely helping to keep the flat panel market buoyant during this period.”

When asked specifically about whether this promotion has actually had a stunting effect on upselling, Ergen said feedback has indicated an opposing view.

“An opportunity to upsell to other products including hi-fi and home theatre has also resulted from the promotion. Feedback from our retail partners has been very positive.”

Sony’s decision to give away a Blu-ray player with its Bravia panels was the second time such a buy-one-get-one free promotion had been run in the last 12 months. Last year, Sony gave away free PlayStation 3s in what was an unqualified success for the brand.

What, therefore, does the future hold? Ergen didn’t want to commit to anything, but did say that Sony looks forward to “providing more added-value promotions in the future to support sales of high value products.”

What’s your view on Sony’s free Blu-ray promotion? Send me an email.