The report in your August 30 issue that Kodak was to launch an ad campaign to support its Advanced Photo System (APS) products, “amid claims that the marketing of the new technology has been disastrous”, was misleading.
The use of the word “the” in the first paragraph “the marketing of the new technology”, implies that everyone concerned with the project got it wrong. This is far from the truth and on Fujifilm’s behalf I would like to put the record straight.
Firstly, Fujifilm was ready with a full range of APS cameras and films from day one. While it is true that Fujifilm, along with other manufacturers, was unable to meet the huge initial demand for product, Fujifilm launched six cameras, three films, processing equipment and a TV player, with other digital products in the pipeline. This was not only the biggest range of products to be launched, but was also the the only complete range.
Dixons, one of our main customers, undertook an aggressive launch of the APS range at the start and invested heavily in a major ad campaign. It has a wide range of APS products in its stores. Dixons did experience some stock shortages in the early stages of the launch but this demand simply reflects the success of the product.
Throughout the spring and summer, Fujifilm’s confidence in APS remained unshaken and the company invested in a national press campaign, while other manufacturers cut back. The result was Fujifilm Fotonex cameras immediately took almost 60 per cent of the market, a share which is now holding close to 50 per cent despite the increasing availability of products from other manufacturers.
Advanced Photo System has entered a market with two peak buying periods – pre-summer and Christmas – so it is too early to come to an overall judgment on the success or otherwise of the System.
Group product manager,
Customer Photographic Division Fuji Photo Film (UK)
We have no argument with the quality of the product.
The story accepted that Fuji had launched a complete product range. But supply problems may lead to severe disappointment, especially if consumer expectations are stoked up by high-profile advertising campaigns before these problems are completely ironed out.- Editor