Chrysler Shows How Not To Do PR

Yanks Thank-You Blog Post After Negative Comments

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Chrysler didn’t want to appear ungrateful to the American taxpayers, so CEO Bob Nardelli took out full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today to thank them for putting up their money instead of well-heeled Cerberus putting up its own. Reposting the expensive thank-you note on the company blog showed, however, America hates huge wastes of money more than it hates ingratitude.

Chrysler Shows How Not To Do PR

Some reports say a full-page WSJ print ad runs about $200,000, a veritable pittance compared to the billions chucked Chrysler’s way. The blog post attracted a swarm of angry responses to the thank-you ad, which is presumably why one can no longer access it.

The Consumerist credits the Digg crowd for the backlash, and guesses this is what prompted deletion. If Google doesn’t think you’re a bot, you can access the cached version of the post.

Here are a few of choice comments:


Way to blow hundreds of thousands of dollars on a useless ad campaign that will surely only worsen your public image. We weren’t buying your cars before because they are all gas guzzling, unreliable, uninteresting cars that look like they were styled by the coleman plastic cooler division, inside and out. So then you steal our money through the government so you can waste more of it on useless ads, and you have the audacity to remind us all about it. Go to hell Chrysler.

Clearly the move this advertising campaign was dreamed up and approved by individuals who has no contact with the average American. The problem with your company and that of many American companies is the ridiculous financial separation of upper management from that of the average middle income American. Your outrageous income and ability to choose to isolate yourselves mentally, financially, and emotionally from the consumer you serve has lead to the financial ruin of your company.

I’m boycotting you. My whole family is boycotting you. My mother and my father, my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters. Just thought I’d let you know.

If it comes down to Chrysler or walking…….we’ll walk. I’ll put my kids on a mule before I’ll put them in a Chysler. Suck it, you parasites.

This will probably earn a page or two in forthcoming editions of PR textbooks. If the public is angry with you, it’s best not to remind them of why they are angry. It was probably a bad idea to enable comments on that blog post in the first place, but it just piles on the bad PR when you try to remove negativity from the record after the fact.


Chrysler Shows How Not To Do PR
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  • http://www.twitter.com/theprguy Nate Long

    This will definitely make a PR textbook or two. When I first heard about the WSJ ad, I thought it was a joke. Or maybe just really expensive sarcasm. I didn’t know the blog post was pulled, though. Chrysler might just have been better off saying, “Please! Pull the plug! We promise we don’t deserve any money!”


    People need to see where Bob Nardelli (GE/Welch understudy) has recently practiced his trade. Look no further than “Home Depot” where he was canned as CEO, after miserable results, but yet received an OBSCENE SEVERANCE PACKAGE! When with Home Depot, he would visit company acquisitions with security that normally is reserved for Heads of State. Money and expenses have never been an obstacle for Bob. Just ask the shareholders of Home Depot!

    • Mark Stark

      If the roles were reversed and you were in his position, you would take the money and run as well. It seems like a lot of money, but if you put your life in prospective with his, it’s just about realtive. It just seems like a lot of money, but jobs at that level don’t pay $50,000 a year…it wouldn’t be enough money to make me want to work 80 hours a week.

      • CTI Observer

        I am so glad that there are those people out there that yearn for the good ‘ol days of “GREED IS GOOD”! Yes, $120+ MILLION is a lot of money and no it doesn’t just “Seem” like a lot. And NO if I were to put my life into perspective with his, it would not be about relative. That is one of the problems with the economic mess we are in today, people like youself feel that it is OK to take the money and run. People have to be held accountable. Even if he did work 80 hours a week for a year and took no time off, he would still be making almost $2900.00 an hour (based on his parachute from Home Depot) and you would not work for that? Who are you trying to impress, Rush L.?

  • http://www.gps--tracking.org Luke Tracking

    Wow, first I’ve heard of this. Well at least we know who WONT be going out of business any time soon and that’s the WSJ. As long as there’s suckers out there with lots of money and something useless to say…


    It appears that Chrysler’s best bet is to keep a low profile and if all else fails try to build some quality cars people will buy. Maybe a nice dependable, inexpensive four cylinder?


  • http://www.autoconsultants.com.au Auto Consultants

    Several mainstream marketing books have addressed this issue in depth with case studies: When things are grim, shut the hell up.

    Some of the many examples include a tire company and an airline, both of whom placed ads acknowledging their major failings with a ‘rainbow statement’ at the end.

    Public opinion and sales were both (measurably) adversely affected by these ad campaigns.

    Part of the problem is that conventional advertising is less and less effective as a communication medium. Many consumers have been conditioned to perceive such advertising as ever-increasing exaggeration (which lazy advertisers consistently reinforce with hyperbole and ridiculous metaphors). If consumers are conditioned to believe that when the company says something good about itself it’s exaggerating heavily, then a public statement reminding people of the company’s failings is perceived as incredibly self-serving chutzpah.

  • http://www.thefootyclub.com/richmond-tigers-news.html Richmond

    Actions speak louder than words.

    As the prevailing sentiment to US Auto Makers seems to be: don’t give us marketing blurb, give us quality, affordable, relevant vehicles.

  • http://potpolitics.com POTPOLITICS@DO FOLLOW

    I watched Kodak Bausch and Lomb destroy Rochester
    I don’t get how all these apparently NOT to Bright business
    people even get or have JOBS they bankrupt companies
    There MUST be some secret society that they have to hire
    each other They all may very well BANKRUPT America which
    has little or no real money right now anyway
    Here’s some companies I KNOW won’t make threw 2009
    Yahoo in it’s present state
    Best BUY Yes it will implode by summer
    Home Depot may get rocked
    ATT fighting now on the downlow
    These countries are on the brink of complete bankruptcy
    2008 was rough watch 2009
    Obama gets a gripe by the end of the year
    2010 we’re all rich ATT Time Waner GONE
    Satellite wifi the whole country
    DOT COM revisted Life on the beach end of story:)
    See you at the Tiki bar I’m buying:)

  • http://www.vipdistinct.com Atlanta Concierge

    Wow, wonder who was running their PR department on that one? But at least the money went back into the economy (IE they paid the paper company and then they paid their employees ect… with it).

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