NZ Comms originally announced its pre-launch event today in anticipation of Telecom's XT going live on Wednesday. Yet while XT is now off until May 31, its ghost launch continues to upstage; I just saw TV1 Breakfast weatherman Tamati Coffey bragging to Paul Henry about his free XT phone. His choice of location to deliver the forecast this morning: in front of a giant Richard Hammond billboard.]
We reckon that is crossing the line. It is the sort of thing that Australian regulators are watching closely and we want to see NZ regulators keep an eye on.
Update: Hey sometimes we get stuff wrong - this was one of those occasions - this from an ever vigilant prawn reader.
It didn't actually go down like that at all. Tamati was standing in front of a parking building, on top of which was a Telecom XT billboard. It was Paul Henry, jokingly, who asked the cameraman to bring the billboard properly into shot (it was only just visible, off to the side), at which point Henry said to Tamati something like, "stay right there, you'll get given a new Telecom phone." He then later had the cameraman bring the billboard back into shot and asked everyone in the studio if they wanted a new phone, as Telecom would surely send them one as they were so kindly keeping their billboard in shot. Peter Williams said he didn't need a new phone. A couple of the floor girls yelled from off camera that they'd love one. Coran Dan, the business reporter, said he wasn't interested as "I'm with Vodafone." Far from being a gross piece of product placement driven by Tamati it was simply Paul Henry mucking about. Talk about Chinese whispers getting the message mixed up!