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No fax

11/01/2007 - par Mark Tungate

Is there still a fax machine in your office ? If you ­actually know where it is, I'm afraid your company is hopelessly out of date. Let's get one thing straight : the fax machine is dead. It's over. We 21st century types do everything by e-mail now. As a freelancer working mostly from home, I don't own a fax machine - and these days I rarely get asked if I've got one. And yet, some primitive companies still insist on doing things by fax.

The fashion industry, particularly here in France, is the worst. When I want to interview somebody at a Paris fashion house, they inevitably ask me to send my request by fax. By FAX ! Are you kidding ? Are you sure you wouldn't prefer me to send it by CARRIER PIGEON ? I presume places like Chanel and Dior are still lit with gas-lamps and the designers sketch with feathers dipped in ink.

Most surprisingly of all, this column was inspired by Mother, the super-trendy London advertising agency. I have been trying to get hold of a copy of one of Mother's TV commercials. In order to do that, I have to fax them a signed document. I've sent it twice so far, and each time they have e-mailed me (ah, the irony) to tell me they have not received it. It's driving me crazy.

So you know what I'm going to have to do now ? That's right - I'm going to POST the document to London. Anyway, here's a warning : the next time somebody mentions a fax machine, I'm going to ask them what one is. You know, like a time traveller from the future.

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