PARK RIDGE, NJ: Sony has insisted that its new Cierge service was
not established with the intent to hype its high-end consumer
Nevertheless, the company wasn't complaining after the New York Post's
Page Six ran a gushing item about the super-exclusive purchasing program
Established last October by Sony's corporate marketing team, Cierge
provides VIPs with the chance to buy Sony's latest cutting-edge
offerings before they are available to the average consumer. The club is
open to invitation only, and its rolls will be capped at 10,000; the
Post story mentioned Sony music stars Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand,
and Destiny's Child as early members. However, the company would not
confirm any other names of celebrities or power brokers it plans to add
to the prestigious list.
Rick Clancy, SVP of corporate communications for Sony Electronics, said
the purpose of Cierge is to "reach out directly to enthusiastic Sony
fans who have the means and interest to learn about products at a very
early stage." However, he added, "To the extent that they recommend our
products and services, that is of course greatly appreciated."
Indeed, with the cost of an official celebrity spokesperson often
running into the millions, the consumer electronics giant could score a
PR coup if any Cierge members happen to plug Sony products on their own
"If you can have a celebrity act as your mouthpiece, that can be great
exposure," said Rogers & Cowan's Jonah Borris, who nonetheless expressed
skepticism about Cierge's approach. "Half the time," he said, "the stars
that can afford these products want them for free."