Page 7 - HGR February 2018
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NEWSLINE 3

3PAGE 2                                     to everybody’s satisfaction, if rewrites     sparse resources to the compilation and
                                            were required they were done. We             production of the Profile.
operation needed in terms of compiling      received full co-operation even to the
this Profile. Interviews would be set up,   extent of receiving the artwork for their      In September we received a one line
images provided, a short list of preferred  Back Cover ad and for their Front Cover.     email from Karp stating that he was
suppliers to interview in the expectation   (We levied no charge on the Front Cover).    going into hospital for a serious op and
of generating testimonials, plus a more                                                  would not be in a position to proceed
comprehensive list of suppliers who we        We had also received excellent support     with the Profile. We were devastated
could approach for advertising support.     from the client’s suppliers with enough      at this news. We immediately informed
We were urged to complete this Profile as   secured ads to justify publishing a          him that everything was in place, that
soon as possible. We were in April at this  substantial and attractive Company           if he approved and returned the one
time and we committed to finalising by      Profile. Despite all this, by late June it   outstanding article and Foreword
July IF we were given full co-operation by  became clear that we would not be able       immediately, we would have the Profile
Aubrey Karp in terms of the agreement       to meet the July deadline as requested.      laid out and delivered to him wherever
and in terms of promptly approving all      Stories were quite suddenly taking longer    he was for final approval. No reply. In
copy written and sent through. He made      and longer to be approved, and Karp          desperation we emailed a request that
an explicit promise that he personally      when pushed, made it plain in pretty         compensation be considered for all the
would ensure that timelines were met on     uncompromising language, that he had         work we had done and through no fault
his side.                                   other much more important priorities. We     of our own were unable to complete. This
                                            had to be patient. So July passed. Despite   drew a vicious and abusive response
 We had honed                               these delays and by sheer persistence,       from Karp, labelling us as ‘gold diggers’
 our Company                                by mid-August we had every article that      and declaring that we had assured him
 Profile Business                           had been submitted approved, bar one.        that OK would not be liable for any costs
 Model so that it                           His own. It had been submitted in good       for the publication of this Profile. We
 was attractive                             time and was really an embroidered and       replied that that was indeed so, but he
 to the client and                          expanded rewrite of the story we had         had not allowed us to publish the Profile.
 simultaneously                             published in February and which Karp         He had waited until it was virtually ready
 rewarded us...                             had been so thrilled by.                     for print and then pulled the plug. A few
                                                                                         days later he dropped a hint that he may
  A letter was subsequently emailed           At his explicit request too, we had        revisit the matter in February when he
to Mr Karp detailing and confirming         written a Foreword to the Profile for him.   returned. At that stage we withdrew our
the agreement reached. It was not           This is always the prerogative and remit     demand for compensation as we felt he
acknowledged. Nevertheless all went         of the CEO. This too was withheld by         was dangling the prospect of completion
smoothly. Interviews were quickly           Karp. At the end of August we wrote to       and did not wish to jeopardise this
organised and written up. Stories were      Karp pleading that he approve his article    possibility.
approved by the interviewees and more       and the Foreword as that was all that
importantly, Aubrey Karp, and returned      was outstanding. We could then lay it out      In January 2017 we were appalled to
pretty promptly. If errors were made by     to the design (already paid for and done     learn that he would not be returning to
us, they were attended to and corrected     by our designer), send it through for final  OK. At a small private business lunch
                                            approval and then on to the printers. We     at which HGR was present, Aubrey Karp
                                            could have it out by mid-October. We         phoned our host and another guest
                                            received no response. We wrote again         and confided that he would not be
                                            pointing out that if we delayed much         returning to his position as CEO of OK/
                                            longer we could not guarantee the Profile    House & Home. He was being retired by
                                            would be printed in 2016 as printers         the Shoprite board. The penny dropped
                                            were heavily committed at year end           immediately. He had unquestionably
                                            and the Profile would only see the light     known of this for many months, and had
                                            of day in 2017. Of course too we were        several months ago decided he was not
                                            seriously concerned that our cashflow
                                            would dry up having committed all our                                      PAGE 44

                                            FEBRUARY 2018 | HOME GOODS RETAILER
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