Transparency Police Bludgeon Blu-ray Backers, Backers Relent
Oh how those faux blog-loving marketers will never learn (until, of course, they're pummeled by transparency police. Read on). Attention, marketers. Repeat after us: "The consumer is not an idiot. The consumer in not an idiot. The consumer is not..." OK? Good. Now that you're all cured, let's all revel in the glory of faux-lover supreme, our friends over at Sony who, along with several other movie studios and companies, has just launched Hollywood in Hi-Def, a site that praises the visual and aural deliciousness of high definition DVDs.
On the outside, this seems like an innocuously innocent consumer education site until, as Adrants reader Rick did, you dig a bit deeper and realize every company involved with the site is a backer of one of the dueling high definition DVD technologies, Blu-Ray. If you're not familiar with Blu-Ray and it's technologically similar sister, HD DVD, the two technologies are locked in a battle VHS/Betamax-style for ownership of the next iteration of the DVD.
Hollywood in Hi-Def claims to be "comprehensive online resource created for consumers interested in high-definition home entertainment." What it doesn't say is that those consumers better be interested in Blu-ray and not HD DVD. To be fair, the site's editor, Scott Hettrick, told Video Business Magazine, "A lot of the companies that are supporting Blu-ray got together and decided to do something different and more credible than a promotional web site."
And (yes, this is where the transparency police prevailed) over the weekend, in reaction to complaints the site should more clearly state its pro-Blu-Ray stance, the site's Scott Hettrick set the record straight with a transparency fanatic-pleasing mea culpa writing, in part, "We have re-written "About Us" to include all those laser-focused words and even more details, as you suggested. As soon as our design guys can get it done, you will see that we have also taken your advice and will be adding a brief line under our name on the home page that indicates the site targets Blu-ray and is powered by Blu-ray supporters."
OK, great. Nice. Everyone's happy. The transparency police can go back to bugging Wal-mart. But, one questions remains. Why didn't the site's backers avoid the entire issue by simply stating clearly the mission of the site at the outset? Yes, Hettrick made it clear in the press the site was Blu-ray backed but most people don't read video trade magazines.