Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

BRISBANE: Freeview CEO Robin Parkes has this morning accepted some responsibility for misinformation about the service and the bad publicity it has received throughout the media. She also admitted that the decision pull the YouTube video satirising Freeview was a mistake.

Currently in Queensland speaking with retail groups about the Freeview service, Parkes said in an interview with Current.com.au that the handling of the YouTube video controversy made Freeview appear ‘touchy’.

“It didn’t end up being an ideal situation for Freeview, absolutely, and the lawyers did what was correct and took the video down, and the minute it went back up, Freeview made the decision to just leave it,” said Parkes. “Yes, it did create unnecessary publicity, with hindsight everyone thinks differently.”

When asked if the negative press surrounding the YouTube was one off, or if she thought there had been excessive negative coverage, Parkes responded, “Absolutely”. She was then asked if this negativity was unfair.

“I think two things: there’s always an agenda, so let’s just palm the agenda aside.

“The second thing is lack of information. When you don’t give enough information to the marketplace that creates a vacuum and they make their own assumption and it usually becomes negative.”

Refreshingly, Parkes accepted some of the responsibility for this.

“Absolutely, we accept some responsibility. We weren’t making things crystal clear but what we didn’t want to do is go to market with information until we were positive about what we were delivering.”

Importantly for the success of Freeview in the long run, Parkes has thick skin. When asked if she had taken any of this criticism personally, she responded, “No, not at all, I’m not buying into what’s agenda driven.

“We have a great free service and it will take time deliver and in the fullness of time it can only be positive for everybody.”