Do You Really Need to See a Photo of a Product Prior to Announcement?

One of the things that’s happening these days would actually be quite amusing if it weren’t so problematic. We’ve got a number of competing “rumor” Web sites that are getting leaked proprietary information, including press release kit photos, and they’re then trying to brand that information as their own.

In the most obvious example, we have many sites getting hold of those press release photos early and then putting their site name or logo on them so that other “rumor” sites don’t reuse them and present them as theirs. Even more amusing is that I’ve now seen the exact same press release photos “branded" by multiple sites, so obviously the “leak” wasn’t exclusive at all and the branding doesn’t accomplish anything useful. Of course, publishing those photos isn’t really the legal right of any of the “rumor” sites. 

As we get into the full Photokina release cycle, this scrambling over being “first” with information obtained by sources that are breaking NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) gets to be a real nuisance. It’s a nuisance to the camera companies, to the retailers who still have stock of older product on the shelves, and frankly, to potential customers, who get overwhelmed by the “coming soon” syndrome and stop making rational buying decisions. 

Actually making a splash with a product announcement is getting harder to do as the leaks proliferate. Moreover, we seem to be getting camera companies announcing products earlier in their usual cycle now as a result (witness Nikon’s Keymission, which still isn’t released). 

Personally, I’d like to be surprised more often, but it’s rare these days I’m surprised by anything with all the leakage—both intended and unintended—that’s going on. 

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