Apple dumps Aussie PR after news coup

And now the good news, you're sacked

Over the years, Apple has become accustomed to bad news. Now it gets the flutters when there's good news. And so, the company has sacked its PR manager in Australia after she mistakenly issued a good news press release.

The trouble started when Myrna van Pelt, a four-year Apple veteran in the Australian office, sent out a press release earlier this month talking up Gartner figures which showed Macs still holding a TCO break over PCs. It generated buckets of good press coverage worldwide

Trouble was, Gartner hadn't yet okayed publication. The research giant hit the roof, with rumours in Australia that its screams were heard all the way to Cupertino. According to local subs-only e-mail newsletter Computer Daily News, Van Pelt was sacrificed for the sake of the Apple/Gartner relationship.

"The well-regarded Van Pelt had been in the job almost four years and was noted for her professional approach and general helpfulness to the media. It's ironic that she has been shafted for scoring an Apple publicity coup," the Sydney-based newsletter said.

If stories like this one on ZDNet are accurate, then Gartner's Australian office should be taking the heat: having conducted research which was supposed to "combat the perception that Macs are more expensive than PCs", and having seemingly written a report to that effect, and having then handed that report to Apple's PR as the customer, Gartner has recoiled in horror when the information was actually published. But what else do you do with payola research? ®