Chrysler Shows How Not To Do PR
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.
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.
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.