The truth behind The Guardian’s negative Apple Watch story

Apple Watch is bringing people to their keyboards in droves, writing opinions and asking questions about Apple’s newest device. That’s a great thing—unless you represent many of the world’s larger luxury watchmakers and you write a purely negative article about Apple Watch for The Guardian.

I saw an article today on The Guardian written by Martin McNulty, who they say at the bottom of the article, “is chief executive of Forward3D and Locaria,” which are basically marketing agencies. Seems innocuous, right?

It is until you take a look at some of McNulty’s clients, which include Kering, the owner of Boucheron; Dodo; Girard-Perregaux; Gucci; Jean Richard; and Ulysse Nardin. All of these companies offer high-end luxury watches.

Let’s take a look at what McNulty has to say about Apple Watch:

All of this came before the unveiling of potentially the most outlandish Apple product in history: a $10,000-plus 18 carat gold watch. It was almost as if Apple needed to pat itself on the back for the good it does in the world, in order to justify catering to such a niche market. All delivered without a hint of irony.

Like your article was delivered without disclosure of the luxury brands you represent. I’m sure they don’t have any high-end products for sale.

Apple has not had a product failure in more than 10 years, but the Apple Watch could very realistically be the first.

That would be great for your clients.

But that isn’t necessarily new in terms of functionality; we’ve been able to use our phones while it’s in our pocket for ages – just look at bluetooth.

Clearly, you have no understanding of what Apple Watch can do.

The sleek white art direction that leads with the product is still there, but what’s missing is the gravitas of a functional item.

I’ve had an Apple Watch on my wrist twice now—I can clearly see the advantage to using the watch. Just how much I’ll use it will depend on a number of things, including apps, but I’m happy with what I see so far.

One thing’s for sure, this is not a Steve Jobs move.

What do you know about what Steve Jobs would do? You don’t, so shut the fuck up.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when you write for a publication like The Guardian, you have to disclose. Writing a negative piece on a product when you represent the marketing efforts of its competitors is shady and underhanded.



  • rattyuk

    Excellent post, Jim.

    I don’t suppose the Guardian will mention the connections.

  • Pudge Wagzs

    People will easily see through this just as you have. Competitive marketing an editorial against another product will not work with people that pay attention to the source. The ones that buy into it are the dumb asses that wouldn’t be happy with a Apple watch anyways.

  • David Malcolm Puranen

    Also Apple has had a product failure in the last 10 years. The iPod HiFi was a joke and never got better. They axed it.

    • A speaker box doesn’t really make the cut. A million other companies did them better and cheaper and there was no reason for Apple to continue to make it. But it hardly qualifies mentioning in light of the nature of Apple’s notable product introductions.

      • EVula

        I agree that “a speaker box” is stretching for it… but that’s partially because Apple has had very, very few lackluster products since Jobs came back. The only ones I can think of are the iPod Hi-Fi, the G4 Cube, and the Xserve. (though the puck mouse that came with the old iMacs was none too popular either)

        • Yeah, the Xserve had it’s loyalists, but when you are running servers there are PC companies that have abandoned their entire consumer lines to focus exclusively on servers and could provide as good or better options than the Xserve as better price points. And with Apple supporting more standards and more software companies supporting Apple, the need for an exclusive Mac server solution has kind of evaporated.

      • Player_16

        And to me an Apple Television would suffer a similar fate: “A million other companies did them better and cheaper…”

        • Which is why there won’t be an Apple branded TV. The part of the TV viewing experience that is broken, as Darby Lines would say, is not the part that shoots photons into your eyes.

          • john

            People will easily see through this just as you have. Competitive marketing an editorial against another product will not work with people that pay attention to the source. The ones that buy into it are the dumb asses that wouldn’t be happy with a Apple watch anyways. A speaker box doesn’t really make the cut. A million other companiesHappy Holi Pics did them better and cheaper and there was no reason for Apple to continue to make it. But it hardly qualifies mentioning in lightHappy Holi Pics of the nature of Apple’s notable product introductions.

    • Corvus

      Reaally had to reach for that one…

    • Struckpaper

      MobileMe. Ping. The most recent versions of iPod Nano. The pantheon of failed Apple products is hardly an empty tomb. There’s nothing wrong or unusual about failed products. McNulty is exaggerating the absence of such in Apple’s history in order to create a “gotcha” moment – Cook has finally slipped up after being handed the keys by Jobs. It’s an old plot line.

  • lazyzombie

    Shame on the Guardian.

    Apple is one of the few companies that scares other companies by even threatening to move on their turf because Apple has an uncanny way of making all the profit in a market. Look at the auto executives that have tried to dissuade Apple from making a car at just the rumor of an Apple car being developed.

    The media is obsessed with the high end Edition edition that will sell very few models at all. You’d believe that no high end model of anything existed in any market until Apple made a watch. Plenty of people out there willing to tell other adults that they should feel guilty / foolish for buying something they themselves can’t afford.

  • Mitchell Cardwell

    Luxury Brand ≠ The Guardian

    • lazyzombie

      I hope that wasn’t meant for me. I am aware of what the Guardian is 🙂

      My comment was in regards to the fact that McNulty is being a shill for luxury brands who are doubtless annoyed that Apple is entering their market.

      • Mitchell Cardwell

        Not meant to you, but you are correct in the cognitive dissonance of a luxury brand shill writing commentary for The Guardian. That’s the issue.

  • Saulk Pupét

    I added this comment to the Guardian article:

    Martin McNulty’s company “Forward3D” represents luxury watch-makers Gucci and Ralph Lauren. It’s on his homepage.

    Martin says: “Aimed at a small demographic of people that are hellbent on conspicuous consumption…”

    Here’s a $12,600 Gucci watch, and here’s a $220,000(!) Ralph Lauren watch.

    Seems like (a) he should have disclosed he represents luxury watch makers, and (b) Gucci and Ralph Lauren should be pissed he thinks so little of their customers.

    The Guardian needs to amend this article.

  • The Guardian and The BBC have long beed doing this against Apple. It is a dirty job.

  • swedish chef

    Well said.

    You’ll be after The Macalope’s job next…

  • freediverx

    What a scumbag, and The Guardian gives him a platform for this bullshit.

  • Jacob Varghese

    Kevin Rose did make some good points about the Apple Watch Edition over on Techcrunch. http://techcrunch.com/2015/03/11/rose_gold/

    If he’s right in terms of the cost of the gold, 10k for the starter price does seem pretty ridiculous.

    • Rose may know the cost of gold but he has no clue about the cost of fashion.

      • Jacob Varghese

        Yes, but is point is that this shouldn’t be priced the same way as a collector’s watch. The Apple Watch’s shelf life will not last more than 5 years at best. I’m being generous since an iPhone is good for about 3 years at best.

        • Shelf life has nothing to do with fashion. The Technorati are thinking about the Apple Watch as if it were just another techno-gadget.

          • Ronbot 3

            I agree, but only that shelf life has nothing to do with fashion – for some fashionistas the shorter the shelf life the better!

          • Jacob Varghese

            yes, but typically those fashion watch purchases are south of $1k. It’s usually collector watches are that are a few thousand or more. For it to be a collector watch, it would really need to have a shelf life. Like I said, Rose makes a good point in the post.

          • Mayson

            Check out the price and cost of a Chanel suit sometime.

        • fuchsdh

          I agree as well. No way I would buy a gold Apple watch even if I had the means. But that’s irrelevant to the fact that the Guardian is passing off promotional pieces with a clear conflict of interest as disinterested news and editorials.

        • 5 years is a helluva lot longer than the duration of luxury caviars and wines — should ultra expensive caviar and wine not exist or be sold? of course it should.

          those who can afford a luxury make their own cost/benefit value evaluations.

        • Todd Sellers

          At the risk of offending people, I doubt anyone posting here is in the target audience for a $10K fashion accessory. I, for sure, don’t understand the luxury watch market. I am a Timex guy. I do agree that the first generation Apple Watch will be replaced with a thinner, lighter, more functional model once the technology becomes available. Will this matter to the person who has the financial resources to purchase a second or third $10,000 watch to keep up with the latest and greatest? I don’t know and don’t want to pontificate here. A 2015 study estimates that there are 10.1 million individuals in the US alone that are millionaires. If 1/2 of one percent purchased the most expensive Apple Watch Edition, that would equate to $86M in revenue. Nothing to sneeze at.

    • Sharon Sharalike

      How much gold do you think is in a Rolex? The cost of the gold does not determine the selling price. Only one thing does – how much people are willing to pay to have it.

      • Jacob Varghese

        You’re right, but Rolexes last forever. As I mentioned in another comment, the Apple watch won’t last for more than 4-5 years at best.

        • Sharon Sharalike

          That won’t be because of the gold.

          Those same people spend far more than this on their wardrobe, and they sure won’t be wearing the same clothes next year, let alone in four or five years.

        • cheng zhou

          I don’t think the rich will be too bothered by the fact that their Apple watch won’t last as long as their Rolex. If Apple tweaks the watch’s design to suit fashion trends that may actually convince them to buy a new one each year.

    • lazyzombie

      The price of an item has to do more with what the market will bear than the cost of the materials.

  • davekaplan

    They now show it as a sponsored by.. story… But in a very hidden way, instead of showing it at the top of the page.

  • GS

    They also added this: “This article was amended on 11 March to disclose that the companies for which the author is chief exectuive represent luxury watch manufacturers” Unless they amend their amendment, they need to learn how to spell executive.

  • rogifan

    Who cares about the damn gold watch. 99.9% of iPhone users won’t be buying one. Stop with the obsession over this watch. Focus on something like ResearchKit instead.

    • Shameer Mulji

      or the new Macbook.

      • John smith

        At the risk of offending people, I doubt anyone posting here is in the target audience for a $10K fashion accessory. I, for sure, don’t understand the luxury watch market. I am a Timex guy. I do agree that the first generation Apple Watch will be replaced with a thinner, lighter, more functional model once the technology becomes available. Will this matter to the person who has the financial resources to purchase a second or third $10,000 watch to keep up with the latest and greatest? I don’t know and don’t want to pontificate here. A 2015 study estimates that there are 10.1 million individuals in the US alone that are millionaires.Happy Holi Pics If 1/2 of one percent purchased the most expensive Apple Watch Edition, that would equate to $86M in revenue. Nothing to sneeze at.

  • Henk Kuiper

    <

    p>McNulty still regrets he didn’t buy the first Apple computer, the first iPhone and selling his Apple shares 20 years ago. He also will regret not buying an

  • Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus

    Nicely done, Jim.

  • Sam Doohickey

    I fucking HATE marketing, unless its Apple’s. They can sell me all day long.

  • Robert.Walter

    Recipe behind the Guardian Anti-Advertorial: equal parts hypocrisy, arrogance, ignorance, and ill-preparedness-induced pants-shitting.

  • Corvus

    Geez, what an asshole…

  • AAPL.To.Break.$130.Soon>:-)

    Let these anti-Apple people say whatever they want. Once AppleWatch goes on sale in the stores, it’s up to the consumer to decide whether Apple is doing a smart thing or not. Even if Apple sells ten million of them or so there are going to be the naysayers claiming AppleWatch is just a fad that won’t last any longer than a year or so. Convincing Wall Street and pundits beforehand is a battle Apple can’t win. We can only wait to see how good sales are and have the money start rolling in for the Apple naysayers to let up for a short while.

    Apple has the marketing ability and cash to nurture AppleWatch for a few years and even if it gets off to a slow start, that will be OK. It shouldn’t hurt Apple as a company at all because AppleWatch will still be selling in far higher numbers than any other smartwatch on the planet. At least consumers will be able to go into the Apple retail stores and try AppleWatches for themselves before they make their decision. That’s only fair. Unless it’s a absolutely horrible product I think Apple can sell practically anything using the formula they have been using to sell products.

  • StruckPaper

    The article now mentions McNulty’s clients include luxury watchmakers. Was this added after the fact?

    • samerbatter

      Yes, it says:”This article was amended on 11 March to disclose that the companies for which the author is chief executive represent luxury watch manufacturers”

  • NickEllis

    Perfect!

  • JSintheStates

    Good for you! Thanks!

  • mikhailovitch

    This really is not a good look for the Guardian. The article is fine, it’s an opinion piece, but basic journalistic ethics dictate that they should disclose these connections. Very sloppy editorial work.

    • samerbatter

      I think if we see any Guardian journo wearing any of those brands then we are entitled to snatch it .

  • Russ

    well done. looks like the guardian amended the article to show the conflict of interest.

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  • james90

    Excellent post, Jim.

    I don’t suppose the Guardian will mention the connections http://footballheads.us

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    People will easily see through this just as you have. Competitive marketing an editorial against another product will not work with people that pay attention to the source. The ones that buy into it are the dumb asses that wouldn’t be happy with a Apple watch anyways. A speaker box doesn’t really make the cut. A million other companiesHappy Holi Pics did them better and cheaper and there was no reason for Apple to continue to make it. But it hardly qualifies mentioning in light of the nature of Apple’s notable product introductions.

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  • Chữa viêm âm đạo

    Also Apple has had a product failure in the last 10 years. The iPod HiFi was a joke and never got better