Is it any wonder a bloke gets grumpy? Gulf News today has featured the headline: “etisalat emerges as most recognised mobile telecom operator in UAE”.
I can’t believe it. The monopoly provider of telecommunications to a country for over 30 years ‘emerges’ as a leading brand just over a year after its competitor launched services? Well, I never.
Etisalat’s competitor, the idiotically named Du, has actually achieved 60% brand recognition which isn’t bad, although the Lord alone knows what price tag was attached to that particular achievement. And it’s worth noting that brand recognition alone isn’t much of an achievement – most people I know have a negative or at best neutral reaction to the Du brand. This is not helped by the company’s insistence on making muckle-headed and over-blown announcements about its users or the number of people entering its competitions.
While we’re talking about Du, a minor celebration is in order in Du Towers – for the first time since they launched, last week someone failed the Du Test, asking if my mobile number should be prefixed with 050. Additionally, a highly respected journalist and pal now has a Du mobile. So now I know one person (the other 999,999 are out there somewhere, presumably) who has changed over to the challenger network. I have to record that talking to him is something of an issue as the line cuts constantly, but what to du?
Just to be clear on this: both Etisalat and Du insist on having their names spelt in lower case and I refuse to bow to that demand. It is silly.