While T-Mobile and Orange’s parent group, Everything Everywhere, struggles with a tax dispute – losing its appeal for a VAT refund worth millions – perhaps it should consider frugality as an option. It certainly didn’t at a corporate Christmas party TechEye attended this week at London’s Punk club.
Everything Everywhere is a gigantic telco, owner of Orange and T-Mobile. Both are rolling in it by encouraging customers to sign up to expensive 24-month contracts for the latest iGizmos and HTZzzzzzs. That must be why they saw fit to spend a massive £20,000 on hiring gruesome pop twosome Jedward for the evening.
Jedward were contestants on last year’s jumped-up talent show The X Factor, which is basically the same as American Idol. They lost but panel judge Louis Walsh backed them anyway, signing them to his label and making a real success of the two.
They played just four songs – their schtick is karaoke for £5,000 a song – including the Ghostbusters theme, Vanilla Ice, something we can’t remember and a bizarre Britney Spears loved up croonfest in which they gazed lovingly into each other’s eyes as they performed. Disturbing stuff indeed.
As is atypical of British journalism we forgot all about talking to any company reps. Instead, the whole party flocked to the VIP back-room and formed an orderly queue, patiently waiting for some alone time with the two. Autographs, etc.
*Update An Everything Everywhere spokesperson has been in touch. He was unwilling to let us know the “real” figures but insists that the company did not spend £20,000, and that this is “way off”.