A Weird Week in the Media – Hyundai leads the way with social suicide

The corporate PR world can be dull - no really. Come ride with me as we take a weekly sideways glance at the world of PR in the lofty world of big business, from someone who has been there, done that, and was mostly fired.

I am not sure if it just because I have been out of the office all week but it seems as though it has been a bit of an odd week on the media front.

The clear leader in terms of committing media-suicide is Hyundai, although it has to be said that as an online execution it did the job: spreading virally online and taking their brand to areas and demographics that they may not have historically reached.

The debate about the lasting memory that they would have left in consumers mind is a whole other debate. The reality is that they would have known it was controversial and someone internally will have decided to take a punt on it, and the apology and removal of the campaign will have been thoroughly planned well in advance.

I see a lot of similarities between the VW Polo tough campaign that involved a terrorist and even the Evil Ford Ka ads where a pigeon is knocked unconscious by the bonnet of a car, and in another execution, a cat gets decapitated by the sunroof of the “Evil Ford Ka”.

If memory serves me correctly, initially Ford and VW blamed these ads on them being unsigned-off creative by their agencies. Hmm. I didn’t believe it at the time either.

At least Hyundai did not try and bat it off and instead acted swiftly and smoothly to try and rectify the situation.

Kudos to HSBC as well who this week distracted attention away from job losses by creating a new word for it; “demising”.

Regular readers of my weekly waffling here on The Drum will know that I am a massive fan of HSBC, they are, in my mind one of the best global communications operators.

Yes, the news they communicated was not good, yes they played a good hand by creating a new word but most importantly, and once again demonstrating that they are a class act, they didn’t try to bury or hide the news away they took it on the chin and delivered it properly.

One story that may develop over the weekend and into next week will be the Amazon results story.

Many of the UK media will be watching their results keenly to see if there are any UK tax payment implications. The initial write-ups from the news wires suggest that Amazon has played its results well.

The retail giant has blamed slow growth on a poor European trading market, laying the groundwork for the case for the defence against their potential tax liabilities here in the UK.

Should be a good one to watch…

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