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Well I cant think who you were speaking about here, but HP definitely fall into this trap. The worst ever was their constituent company Compaq. Fujitsu can be diabolical. Accenture can be awful. I saw a fantastic Nortel presentation the other day where the enthusiast (John Roese) even had the decency to apologise for the fact the marketing department had put a spin on his short video.

When BT last spoke at an ID event they fielded the exemplary Hazel Lacohee, author of the DTI Trustguide. She was glorious warm technicolour, unlike the IPS counterpart who closed the event who was cold, grey, wooden. BT's Home Affairs sales people must have had a fit. (Actually I'm being disingenous here - I asked her, and we wouldnt have had their sales people).

We organise such events and I forwarded (anonymised and unattributed) your note for their private guidance and edification. It's important to know!

....but she was chosen on merit, and not a sponsor, so fair enough.

But I robustly reject the notion that sponsor speakers are greyer than say public servants. We did (10 years ago) an event on PKI for CESG which Sun agreed to sponsor. Sun offered Whit Diffie as speaker. CESG (who were trying to learn the art of marketing at the time, to earn their living) said "Noooo no no! - if Whit Diffie comes we'll have a debate. And we dont want a debate - we want everone to use [our own product] Cloud Cover." Well, we dug uor heels in, Diffie came, and he wiped the floor.

The dullest speaker is invariably the Minister who sticks to the talk prepared for him by officials. For comedy value I'd rather have someone try to sell me Windows Vista

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