Tech Media: A Comedy of Embargoes

So when CAN you write a review?*

by: - Last updated on: December 15th, 2019

They used to be really simple documents specifying when you could write about a device, but of late, embargoes have got a little complicated. Make that VERY complicated. Here’s our take on where the humble embargo is headed. Any resemblance to brands and journalists, real or fictional, is unintended and coincidental.

So with that, we conclude the briefing for our soon to be launched devices. We hope you will have fun using them and writing about them. We will be mailing you reviewers’ guides to help you. promo…er…write about the device. And of course, we are always available to answer any queries you may have.

tech embargoes

Thanks. We will just get down to using them.

Before you go, could you please sign this?

What is this?

Oh, this is just a formality. It is an embargo. Just a document that says you agree not to write about these products until a specific date! Three embargo – one for each device.

Oh, but this looks kinda complicated.

Not at all, sir. You just sign once at the base of the fourth page, the nineteenth page, the forty-sixth page and the seventieth one. And also once below the clause that ends with the words ‘…those violating this embargo will be converted into human coffee and served at local cafes, with no option of cream or sugar’ on the last page.

What! That sounds a little extreme…

Oh no, sir. Just legalese. Some people get a little naughty and break embargoes. We tried imposing fines but then some of your colleagues did not like that, so we decided to approach one of our legal experts who has descended from Genghis Khan, and this was one of his milder options. But then, sir, you have nothing to fear as long as you adhere to the embargo. Really!

Right, right. So no writing about the device until it is launched?

Oh no, sir. Come on. That is so…2014. We are much more advanced now. You can actually write about the device before the launch date.

Oh, that’s very good. So I can actually publish my review of the device before it is launched…

Oh no, sir. You cannot. The review of the first device can only be published on the second day after the launch. The review of the second can be published four days after its launch. And the review of the third can never be published.

What! I cannot review the third device?

Well, you can, sir. You only cannot publish it. It is an experience device, not a review one! You can share your experiences of it on social networks. On Instagram, two days before the launch, on Twitter, three days after the launch, on Facebook on the day of the launch, and on LinkedIn whenever you feel like it.

All right, this has got my head in a bit of a spin. But All right then, let’s get back to the main thing – if you say I can only publish reviews a few days after the launch, how can I write about the product before the launch?

There is so much more to writing about products than reviews, sir. There are first impressions, second impressions, two and a half impressions, impressions after the fourteenth software update and so on. Then you can also write about the design. You can report on the camera, post camera samples. You can share the technical specifications and comment on them. And you can do battery and benchmark tests, provided you return the benches to us after marking them…

I see, I see. So I can write about the device without actually reviewing it before the launch, but can publish the review only after the launch?

Absolutely. That’s why we have given you the devices – we want you to write about them!

Excellent, so basically anything but the review before the launch and the reviews on the dates you specified, right?

Er…not quite, sir.

Meaning?

Well, we have worked out when you can write about different aspects of the devices. I mean, you could read the document or I could just spell it out…

It is a rather long document, so go right ahead and tell me, won’t you?

Of course, sir, it is rather simple. You can write about the camera of the first device two days before the launch, about its battery one day before the launch, about its processor on the day of the launch but before the beginning of the launch itself, about its design during the launch (especially when our celebrity is showing the product on stage), and of course, you can share your first impressions of the device an hour after the launch. And the review I have already told you about…

Oh, Lord…

There’s just a little more, sir. You can share pictures of the back of the phone three days before the launch, the front only on the day of the launch, and we would prefer if you share the pictures of the sides after the launch. The device has a three-camera set up, and you can share images from the main sensor on the day of the launch without naming the device, images from the ultra-wide-angle lens a day before the launch while naming the device, images from the telephoto lens on the day of the launch but preferably while naming the device and at least two competitors, and you can post selfie camera samples on Tinder whenever you wish and never on LinkedIn. Video guidelines are specified in terms of duration and networks and resolution (do read the Pornhub clause, please)…

Hang on, hang on…

Yes, sir?

This is very complicated!

Not at all, sir. We will be sending you all the details in an e-mail. And if you wish, you can even click on the Google Calendar link and you will get a pop-up notification letting you known whenever you can write about a specific topic. Now, moving on to the other two devices…sir? Sir? Get him some water, someone, he seems to have fainted.

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