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BRIEFS: July 12

Polaroid pulls an internet crowd…Canon comes to grips with grip problem…Eastman Kodak accountant in kickback fraud…

Polaroid pulls an internet crowd

The Polaroid internet site has enjoyed a 240 percent increase in traffic compared to the same period in 2011, according to newly-appointed brand manager, Dale Eastman.

‘We knew that Polaroid was going to reach a new level in 2012, however we didn’t quite anticipate it’d be this big. These results are very promising for the growth of the brand within Australia,’ said Mr Eastman.

‘What we find even more impressive is that our Q2 traffic this year was higher than Q4 2011; in fact, May of this year has been our biggest month on record, while both May and June have seen more traffic than December 2012.

Polaroid Australia says it has also seen significant improvements in social media, with its Facebook page now sitting with over 13,000 engaged fans. ‘We love our Facebook fans; they give us great feedback and share the love of Polaroid. What’s most interesting is the majority of our fans are made up of teenagers, people who may have never actually used a Polaroid camera before, but are equally amazed at the magic of a Polaroid Picture coming out of a camera straight away. Polaroid is more relevant to today’s ‘want it now’ youth market than it ever has been for the past 75 years,’ said Mr Eastman.

He added that this growth in online engagement with Polaroid is a positive sign for retailers and a reminder that while other categories may be declining, the Polaroid instant imaging category is showing rapid expansion.


Canon comes to grips with grip problem

Canon has posted a Global Service Notice regarding the front rubber grips of some EOS 650D (EOS REBEL T4i/EOS Kiss X6i in other markets) units produced in certain lots between May 31 and June 15.

The rubberised grips on some units of the camera contain an excees of something called ‘zinc bis’, which may cause them to turn white, and ‘in rare cases when this substance comes into contact with skin, allergic skin reactions may develop. In addition, if eyes are rubbed after contact with the substance, symptoms, such as red eyes, may develop. ‘

The good news is that Canon Australia has not shipped any affected products into the Australian market, and doesn’t believe that consumers who have purchased through Canon’s Authorised Resellers will be in possession of affected products.

However, it can’t be so sure about privately imported models. Canon Australia has no means of identifying what products may have entered the Australian market from overseas via other channels (direct import from overseas or via local reseller of overseas products). However, in line with the global announcement, Canon Australia has posted the Service Notice on its website at the following URL:

– which enables Canon 650D owners to identify whether they have a model with the offending grips.


Eastman Kodak accountant in kickback fraud

In a criminal complaint filed last week, the US Attorney charged that Mark S. Camarata, 42, an accountant in Kodak’s corporate tax department, authorized payments of inflated amounts to three of the company’s vendors in return for kickbacks.

The US Attorney’s Office said that Camarata created false invoices and submitted them to the vendors, channeling the money he received through a shell company he set up called Strategic Asset Management.

Kodak’s records indicate that the vendors were paid over US$9 million during the years at issue. Records provided by Camarata indicate that his company received more than $4 million, according to the US Attorney’s Office.

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