Thursday, March 23, 2023

Watches and Still Wondering - 2023

As the big week approaches, the reality becomes ever starker. This appears to be a fairly unique year for the Prom King / Prom Queen vote that is the experience of trying to get a press credential at Watches and Wonders.

In the past, there was BaselWorld. And in fairness, although it was challenging to get hotel rooms and you paid outlandish prices for basic meals, you could still hope to get a press accreditation. SIHH, although snottier than a frequently used Kleenex tissue during cold & flu season, could justify it because it was (for all intents and purposes) just the Richemont group with assorted "chums". But when the rats finally fled the sinking ship that was BaselWorld, it left a vacuum not unlike when an authoritarian regime is deposed - another authoritarian group filled the gap. So let's ask a few uncomfortable questions:

1. If the purpose of having a press-friendly event is to have actual press attend and cover said event, why would you eviscerate your press accreditation list?

2. If the answer to that question is that "we simply don't have the space", why are you then increasing the number of press invitations that you are giving to certain outlets? Rather than 2, some outlets have as many as 5.

3. If you are not including 80% of the press in the beauty pageant - i.e. they will not be receiving a press accreditation even WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER (global warming is real), why are you gathering the contact information for that same group of disenfranchised journalists and packaging it for your client brands as part of their service fees? Apparently some of us are not good enough to visit the booth, but we are, apparently, valuable media contacts. It's a little sleazy.

Here's the thing - Watches and Wonders has the right to make a fair any way that they want. But don't tell me that Watches and Wonders is inclusive (or even important) when so many people are excluded from attending. And where that used to be a smaller group, several long-term attendees got snubbed this year. So it seems that relationships are not quite as eternal as a Cartier watch ; )

The other shows will continue to get passive aggressive / aggressive-aggressive treatment from the city of Geneva (which is indirectly the firm hand of Richemont, LVMH and the other Gang of 4 up their backside like a Howdy-Doody puppet). And the beat goes on.

So as always, spring brings eternal hope. But as anyone who grew up in the midwest will attest, the thawing of snow reveals the forgotten mess that the dog left in the backyard just before Thanksgiving ; )

Enjoy your watches - and support a free watch press!

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