Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Rigourous training

The onward march of the Grand Theft Auto franchise - it's like Super Mario Karts with syphilis, apparently - has worried some of the good people who watch our morals. Who can reassure them that, following a night pretending to steal cars full of hookers, young people won't be rushing out to steal cars full of hookers?

Step forward, HMV spokesking Gennaro Castaldo:

Gennaro Castaldo, of HMV, insisted staff has received “rigorous” training to ensure that the game was not sold to anyone under the age of 18.

“As with any video which has an 18 certificate, our staff will always ask for ID if they think someone is too young to buy the game,” he said.

That really does sound like rigorous training to us - presumably it takes about six or seven days to undergo that educational process, does it?

Having put Telegraph readers' minds at rest, Gennaro then had to pick up the phone to tell The Times that, despite what everyone else in the world might think, the DVD market isn't structurally doomed at all:
Gennaro Castaldo, of HMV, said that the retailer, which has come under pressure in recent years from cut-price supermarket and internet offers, was concentrating on what he called quality and collectibles.

“DVDs will always be an aspirational product,” he said. “People often want to own the product and box sets are still very popular.”

Mr Castaldo said that the group had achieved record DVD sales at Christmas.

He predicted a strong 2008 for DVD sales, suggesting that the credit crunch would mean that people stayed at home more, happily spending £10 on a DVD.

Well, yes, it might happen like that. Although if times are so hard you don't want to spring for a taxi and a bucket of beer, wouldn't you be more likely to make your night even cheaper and hire a film through your set-top box?

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