Novo Nordisk : Waiting for the man

Circumstances stir up an iPad nightmare.

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The feature

Novo Nordisk, Denmark-based pharmaceuticals company, is delayed in making available a new version of its annual report. Novo Nordisk leads on its home page with a promotion for its latest annual report as the default panel in the main featured-content carousel. A link leads to an Annual report 2012 index page in Investors that is headed by an invitation to ‘Sign up for iPad report’. The heading is qualified with a statement advising that the app version of the report is not immediately available: “When signing up, you will receive an email once the app is available in Apple’s App Store”. The message is iterated in the sign-up form, which requires only an e-mail address of applicants.

The takeaway

It seems likely that Novo Nordisk has run into a problem dreaded by all companies wanting to publish an app for iPhone or iPad – it is reliant on Apple approving the app, and has no way of speeding the process (or even guaranteeing it will get the go-ahead). The scale of the problem is magnified when the report publication date is set in advance if the online communications team has too short a window between the report being signed off internally and its publication to accommodate Apple. Novo Nordisk’s notice of delay on the website is a carefully worded pointer to frustrated users as to where the cause of the frustrating hold-up lies, but in a broader sense it is also a signal of the Faustian pact companies make in exposing themselves to service providers beyond their control. The answer could be to use Android, where no approval is needed, but the love affair between senior managers and iPads makes that unwise. Better, perhaps, to stick to a web version of the report – at least then you control your own destiny.
First published 07 February, 2013
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