This column devotes an inordinate amount of time to publications giving free kicks to product. Yes, it gets repetitive, but just when we want to take a break, along comes the next egregious example.

A couple of weeks ago it was the Fairfax Sunday papers picking up FHM ‘s survey about the number of Australian men wanted to marry a virgin — the day before the latest edition of FHM hit stands.

Last night, Apple opened a modest store in Sydney. You might not have known about it. But The Sydney Morning Herald was determined that Mac not hide its light under a bushel.

Crikey reader Luke corralled the stories with the question “where is the news part in all this promotion?”:

  • 19 June: “CBD chaos as Apple Store opens”, Stephen Hutcheon and Daniel Emerson, SMH
  • 19 June: “Apple says the price is right”, Stephen Hutcheon,  SMH
  • 19 June: “Pom de tearaway: Brit’s dash to be Apple first”, Daniel Emerson, SMH
  • 19 June: “iQueue: Apple will open to an international line-up”, Stephen Hutcheon, SMH
  • 19 June: “The queue for the Apple Store starts here”, Asher Moses, SMH
  • 18 June: “New Apple Store is a glass act”, Stephen Hutcheon, SMH
  • 18 June: “Petite model perfects the art of exploiting Apple”, Stephen Hutcheon, SMH  
  • 9 June: “Shop and awe: Apple’s Australian retail debut”, Stephen Hutcheon, SMH

There’s video footage too:

In the 9 June story, Hutcheon even seems to tell Mac lovers what they’ll need to do to get their slice of the apple pie:

If you’re planning to pop in and check out the new Sydney Apple Store when it opens for business on Thursday next week, be prepared to wait in line. If you want to ensure you get in early, you might consider camping out overnight.


To be fair, Hutcheon did probe the question of whether Australians are paying too much for Apple product in comparison with international counterparts. But it was squashed by the sheer weight of puff.  

Frippery like this: “Inside the store as zero hour approached, Apple Store staff faced the massive, 15m high glass atrium that frames the store and began singing, dancing an [sic] clapping … Although none of the first three in line bought anything, other’s [sic] behind them were not so frugal and soon after the doors were open Apple’s tills were ringing.” How Hillsongian.

Or the 2005 tale of model Isobella Jade who wrote her memoir in the New York Apple store, reheated so that SMH readers could be advised “when Apple’s Sydney Store opens on Thursday evening there will be ample opportunity for visitors to test the limits of Apple’s in-store hospitality.”

Or this: “The glass slabs come from Germany, the stone floor from Italy, the brushed stainless steel walls are from Japan, and the wooden tables are made from maple trees grown in Pennsylvania.”

Mmmm Pennsylvanian maple…

The Daily Telegraph was less eager to buy into the hype. Chloe Lake and Andrew Ramadge debriefed:

The lead-up to its opening, like the arrival of the iPhone, has been a carefully stage-managed affair dictated by Apple’s trademark media blackout and the whirlwind of rumours and misinformation that the strategy creates…With so many resources devoted to keeping the company’s projects secret, and just as many spent trying to guess their details, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the new Apple Store is, in fact, just a shop. 

In other things, to answer your question  Zoo Weekly , no we haven’t forgotten you — and your fantastic revamping of that 1950s fad: 3D glasses. Finally the technology is brought crashing into the noughties.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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