Perhaps unsurprisingly for a self-confessed “old-fashioned guy”, Myer’s self-elected executive chairman, Garry Hounsell, is apparently not a fan of his marketing department’s contract with US songbird Katy Perry.
The strong mail from our pony-tailed contacts in the advertising industry is that Myer wanted to hand back 3000 of the concert tickets it bought for Perry’s tour, and to cancel Perry’s in-store appearances at Myer’s flagship capital city stores. Which, given the quality of her music, we’re sure would have come as a relief to the few poor, confused souls with the misfortune of wandering in at an inopportune time. But the contract, which assures Perry $2 million in cash and the same amount again in tickets and other support, remains, a Myer spokesman insisted to us twice last week, unchanged.
It appears that when Myer tried to renegotiate the contract, Perry’s management threatened it with a barrister’s barrage. Which is a sure way to chew through any savings Myer might have got. And so, the sponsorship arrangement stays. Still, you can’t envy Hounsell having to explain the $4 million payment to investors at the looming full-year results, which all expect to be another bloodbath. But maybe he and incoming CEO John King can just blame dumped CEO Richard Umbers. If King can get here in time. He still doesn’t have a visa to work in Australia.