LG's plans to publicly sell the first Ultra High-Definition TV in Australia were thrown into disarray this morning, with an event planned with Harvey Norman cancelled at the last minute.
An invitation to attend the sale, at Harvey Norman Caringbah, was sent out to media yesterday afternoon. Gerry Harvey, iconic chairman of the 31-year-old electronics and homewares retailer, was to be in attendance, along with LG's national sales director Michael Doyle and the first Ultra HD TV buyer — presumably hand-picked by LG.
"Media Vision Alert
Tomorrow, LG’s world first 84 inch Ultra High Definition (HD) TV will go on sale in Australia, providing Australians with the world’s best and most advanced picture quality available in home entertainment, just in time for Christmas.
Harvey Norman executive Chairman, Gerry Harvey, will be personally making the first sale at his store in Caringbah, congratulating the first Australian customer to purchase an Ultra HD TV."
This morning at around 10:55AM, upon attending the store, an LG Ultra HD TV was set up in a dedicated area — complete with red carpet — but no LG or Harvey Norman representatives were visible.
A few minutes later, PC World received a call from LG Australia's public relations company, with the message that the event had been cancelled. Upon returning the call and asking for more information, no reason for the cancellation was given, with an LG representative saying no more details could be shared.
According to Current.com.au, "senior sources inside LG Electronics" claimed that the event was cancelled after the customer — reportedly a local businessperson — pulled out at short notice.
The source said this led to Gerry Harvey cancelling his visit, but no message of the customer's or Gerry Harvey's withdrawal reached LG — so neither the electronics company nor its public relations arm were aware of the effective cancellation of the event.
Harvey Norman CEO David Ackery has refuted LG's claims, telling Current.com.au that the aforementioned version of events was "totally untrue". Ackery said that no event had ever been scheduled.
However, the in-store appearance of the LG Ultra High-Definition television, accompanying red carpet, and media attendance would tell another story.