1 October 2013 - 1:57pm | posted by | 19 comments

Webuyanycar.com launches WebuyanyTOYcar.com after hoax letter goes viral

Webuyanycar.com launches WebuyanyTOYcar.com after hoax letter goes viral Webuyanycar.com launches WebuyanyTOYcar.com after hoax letter goes

Webuyanycar.com has launched a campaign around a hoax letter which went viral at the weekend.

@JamieDMJ tweeted a fake letter “from” webuyanycar.com, claiming it had refused to buy a child’s plastic car.

It took Twitter by storm and has since been retweeted over 31,000 times.

In response, the company unveiled webuyanyTOYcar.com and is offering the first 100 Little Tike owners who visit local branches the chance to offload their models. In return, webuyanycar.com has offered £10 per Little Tike, with all the money raised being donated to the road safety charity Brake.

“We loved the hoax letter thought up by @JamieDMJ. It gave us a giggle and the engagement on Twitter has been great fun,” a Webuyanycar.com spokesperson explained.

“However it highlighted the demand for us to buy ANY car. So we are offering an amnesty for all Little Tikes covered in cobwebs and gathering dust in garages up and down the country. We will buy the first 100 brought to us in full working condition, for the flat fee of £10 – with the money all going straight to charity.”

The spoof site, devised by Democracy PR, is also recruiting a Junior Vehicle Purchaser to head up the new ‘Tike division’.

The ad reads: “This is a perfect job for someone who knows their way around the playground and is experienced in playing with or riding toy cars. Hours: Monday - Wednesday (after school).”

Comments

1 Oct 2013 - 14:51
MrOwainThomas's picture

Nice set up.

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:03
gary_ennis

They handled the whole thing very well.. Read our short case study on this at : http://www.nsdesign.co.uk/blog/2013/09/we-buy-any-car-dot-com-even-the-l...

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:07
ellie_d16936

Does anyone think they haven't quite hit the mark here? For one, I don't believe the reply letter was a hoax, and the "webuyanytoycar.com" site is a PR ploy to cover up what could have been a fantastic opportunity (Sainsbury's tiger/giraffe loaf?). Secondly, you have to haul a Little Tike car (which isn't small) to whatever industrial estate WeBuyAnyCar is hidden in, to not receive anything, but have £10 given to charity? Even £5 to you and £5 to Brake would have been better. I'm confused.

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1 Oct 2013 - 17:23
MrOwainThomas's picture

@ellie_d16936 I agree. *swallows words*. I'll shut up now.

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:32
jennifer_ogrady's picture

@MrOwainThomas Sorry to disappoint - but it was all genuine. Our response was a quick turn around, ideas worked up on Monday morning and implemented by Democracy, Red or Blue and the in house social media manager at webuyanycar. It was great fun, hard work and (fingers crossed) it seems to be going well. Brake is a long standing charity partner of ours and we always try and support them whenever we can.

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1 Oct 2013 - 17:00
MrOwainThomas's picture

@jennifer_ogrady No disappointment, Jennifer. I really enjoyed the show. Well done. Just making sure the comments thread sprang into action as it should.

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4 Oct 2013 - 14:32
wondermouse76624

@jennifer_ogrady so what are you going to do with 100 Little Tikes cars? It seems like they should either also be donated to nurseries and charities, or there should be a forecourt where prospective buyers can look over the range and buy one!

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4 Oct 2013 - 15:01
jennifer_ogrady's picture

@wondermouse76624 It depends on their condition - Tikes that can be fixed up/cleaned up and pass safety standards will be passed on to playgroups and nurseries close to the participating 5 branches. Those that can't will go to the great car lot in the sky.

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:22
jennifer_ogrady's picture

@ellie_d16936 Hi - the chap who wrote the letter admitted it was a hoax .....

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2 Oct 2013 - 10:08
colinbancmedia's picture

@ellie_d16936 have you seen the letter? It looked like it was printed out on a £30 printer from Argos, giant fonts, was terrible. Funny though!

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:40
gary_ennis

As someone who watched all this unfold (with arguably an unhealthy obsession!) I'm 100% certain this was all legit, and not a setup from WBAC. The chap Jamie has admitted it was a hoax on his part, and interesting also to see how quickly the Daily Mirror simply deleted their own online story once they realised they'd been fooled by him.. see the cached version here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.mirror.c...

I realise everyone will have their views on this, but I say well done to WBAC and to Lisa - the internal social media manager who dealt with 1000's of tweets over the weekend - some of them quite nasty, and the way she handled it.

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:48
jennifer_ogrady's picture

@gary_ennis The Mirror hadn't checked with us that the story was real, a quick call and they took immediate action...... Metro did, their story still stands: http://metro.co.uk/2013/09/29/webuyanycar-com-loves-pranksters-fake-comp...

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:51
gary_ennis

@jennifer_ogrady exactly... shame they were so quick to report on "jamie's letter" and then just delete it when they realised it was wrong.. rather than leave it up, admit to being duped (like so many were) and include a follow on report on how you handled it all....

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1 Oct 2013 - 15:57
jennifer_ogrady's picture

@gary_ennis Strangely we contacted them today .... and they weren't interested ....

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2 Oct 2013 - 19:53
mered17562's picture

@jennifer_ogrady Really well done for getting after this whole situation. Just wish I'd thought to register the name before you and sold it to WBAC for a reasonable fee. Regarding The Mirror - it's this kind of situation I was hoping Leveson was going to sort. If you run a false story - retract it with an equally sized apology. It's so sad that egotistical journalists can't bear to be shown up.

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2 Oct 2013 - 10:36
lolawilson's picture

I'm still baffled by the concept of taking in a Little Tykes car (which cost around £60) and getting £10 donated to charity... I feel like the finishing here is a bit poor. And pointless.

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2 Oct 2013 - 19:48
mered17562's picture

@lolawilson Surely it's a question of WBAC doing something amusing when a) it's not their fault b) they didn't instigate this c) they are not in the business of toy cars. They could have ignored it, but instead got into the spirit. People are complaining about the Tikes offer as if it were compulsory. Do it, don't do it, but don't whinge because a non compulsory scheme isn't exactly what YOU think it should be.

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3 Oct 2013 - 16:20
humdrum's picture

@mered17562 Well said!!

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2 Oct 2013 - 20:43
martinellis180

This is a great example of using the unexpected to drive brand awareness, all credit to the team at WBAC. However, as a seasoned and senior PR I am not concerned if it was a PR stunt, or a PR exploitation, either way it was simple, spontaneous and effective. Well done to all involved.

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