Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Freeview is falsely advertising Panasonic as a participating manufacturer in its promotional material.

In a release to the media yesterday, Freeview listed Panasonic under the headline, “the following manufacturers are participating”. Current.com.au then asked Panasonic why it wasn’t present at the launch, the response we received completely contradicted Freeview’s marketing.

 “We are having discussions with Freeview but we haven’t signed a licensing agreement,” he said. “We are asking for some clarification, particularly on contractual matters.”

“This event was to launch Freeview, it’s not appropriate that we’re there.”

If Panasonic was a participating manufacturer, it is unlikely it would consider joining them for launch event to be “inappropriate”.

When asked his view on the relevance of Freeview, and whether it was important for Panasonic to be compliant, Reid hinted that it wasn’t top on his agenda.

“Every single Panasonic television is perfectly capable of receiving the 15 channels, whether or not we sign a licensing agreement.”

Reid did say that one positive of Freeview is that it is creating more awareness of the digital switchover. As for the Government’s role in this process, Reid said Panasonic was fully supportive.

“In a matter of weeks, all Panasonic TVs will have a Government switchover label. We fully support this Government initiative.”

Freeview has been dogged with controversy and bad publicity since its original launch. During this time, it has ordered a satirical YouTube video be pulled and staged an event at a Dick Smith store to the chagrin of Harvey Norman.

Current.com.au contacted Freeview for comment.