Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Lots of Potts

James P writes to point out Gennaro Castaldo's latest public pronouncement, on the sales of Paul Potts:

'HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "It's incredible how TV can take a complete unknown artist and catapult him to overnight chart success."'

As James suggests:
Yes. Yes, it is. It's incredible, amazing and previously unheard-of that if a man sings quite well on a TV show watched by over 10 million people, some of those people might want to buy an album which that man goes on to release. Thank you, Gennaro.

Presumably Gennaro is still astonished that clouds can make electricity, and it's possible - by simply cutting off the crusts at the factory - to make a loaf without any crusts on.

Astonisnging times we live in. Slightly more astonishing, though, is that ITV news, the Western Mail, and even the NME have felt that the original comment to BBC News site was worth repeating.

Elsewhere, Gennaro has popped up in the Herald to enthuse over the prospects for Mercury-nominated bands:
Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for the music chain HMV, agrees: "The publicity that will be generated from now through to the awards ceremony will ensure that all the nominated artists get a lift in album sales, and lesser-known nominees have the platform to introduce themselves to a new and wider audience. Whoever wins can expect a significant boost to their careers. Previous winners such as Ms Dynamite in 2003 and Antony and the Johnsons in 2005 recorded five-fold increases in sales of their nominated albums."

We'd have thought Castaldo would have been able to tell the difference between "a short-term boost to sales of the nominated album" and "a significant boost to their careers", or at least would have had the wit to have picked a couple of acts who have had any sort of profile-enabled post-awards career.

Across the Atlantic, and Gennaro was sent to explain to Americans why HMV did its u-turn and started stocking the Mail On Sunday. He told Time:
"We decided we could either get marginalized or we could get right in there," says spokesman Gennaro Castaldo. "With whatever reservations, our motivation was to give our customers the choice and access to the album."

Ah. This, then, would be a different HMV from the chain which pulled all Rolling Stones albums off its Canadian shelves in a strop when the band did a deal with another chain.


Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what's even more astonishing than all the press Castaldo gets as people write down what he shouts from the sinking ship. I just searched on google for the "Gennaro Castaldo" "Mercury Music Prize" and anyone would think that over the years he's been the only person in the known universe who can make the connection between an over-hyped award and a rise in sales for the nominees for said award. It's astonishing that none of the, dare I say, traditional media can say it without quoting the HMV. It's baffling. In fact I'm struggling to put in to words my feelings about how absurd it is that they quote these comments about nothing.

James said...

Maybe he charges per word? Looking at the state of HMV at the moment, it could be that they're quietly changing their business plan from 'Selling music' to 'Providing bleeding-obvious rent-a-quote tabloid filler'.

If this is the case, enjoy him while you can. This time next year, most tabloids will have dropped him in favour of a man from whose quotes cost half as much.

Anonymous said...

'Providing bleeding-obvious rent-a-quote tabloid filler'

The worst of it is that it's not just the tabloids that quote the company.

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