Being Inauthentic Smells Bad

That is a (bad) photo (full size) of a full-page ad that appeared in the Friday, September 10, 2011 edition of the Globe and Mail.



HP has made it clear that they hope to sell off their PC business because it's barely profitiable due to the really thin margins in the commodity consumer PC game. The lack of merit in this strategy aside, how does running this ad help them?



If you read anything about HP, it's obvious that they long ago lost any spirit of a start up. Office of Strategy and Technology? Sounds just like a startup to me.



This ad and the associated website just stink of a large corporation trying to be something it's not and will never be. Running this ad in major newspapers will not help HP sell their PC business to anyone. Any business that may be interested in buying the PC unit is already well aware of HP's desire to sell. Are they trying to build consumer support for the brand? PCs are such a commodity that any loyalty to a particular brand is tenuous at best. Regardless, how would any additional consumer support help them sell? Increase PC sales? They've been flat and declining for years. That's why HP is selling!



Horace Dediu has written about the effect that consolodation has had on the PC business and specifically on HP. His article is an excellent read if you really want to understand what is going on in the PC and mobile industries.



My point in posting this isn't so much about PCs, but about corporate actions. Newspaper ads like this prove that HP is really out of touch with how they are perceived by the press, tech journalists and consumers in general. Running this ad makes HP look foolish and should serve as a warning to any major corporation. Be very aware and objective about how you are perceived before you do any advertising or communications.



Sometimes saying nothing is better.