Every year, a sea of annual reports is churned out. Produced in their thousands across the world, they are often a source of information that’s momentarily appreciated and eventually forgotten. However, there have been instances when annual reports proved to be much more than a piece of statutory disclosure. These annual reports have helped expand the horizons of the industry, redeeming them of their short lifespans.
The story of the seven blind men goes like this. Once upon a time, a group of visually-impaired gentlemen realised, after much consternation, that they had no inkling of what an elephant looked like. After much debating, they agreed to individually set off, find an elephant, feel it by touch, and to come back and (annual) report on their results.
In 2006, the Italian airline Alitalia lost a whopping $7 million or so when they advertised a business-class flight from Toronto to Cyprus as $39 instead of $3,900. When the mistake was eventually spotted, 2,000 tickets had been sold at that rate and the airline was forced to honour the price.