Published on January 23rd, 2009 | by Zane Merva0
Chrysler censors outrage over six-figure thank-you ad
We saw the storm brewing earlier this month when it was learned that Chrysler had spent over $100,000 to print a “thank-you to the American people” in several large national media outlets. It’s now clear Chrysler can’t take the heat the ad is generating. A company blog posting that received hundreds of negative comments was suddenly deleted yesterday.
The surprising move underlines how poorly Chrysler understands the purpose of having a corporate blog. The internet is not always a warm and fuzzy place for fans of your company or product to pat you on the back. Company blogs are increasingly being used to hold companies accountable. When you’re spending billions of taxpayer money, shutting the door to upset investors and potential customers is not usually recommended.
Had Chrysler issued a thoughtful response to the outrage they could have stemmed the tide of negative PR that’s about to head their way. Instead they pulled the classic “act like it never happened” PR slant- and things will only get worse. That’s because, as the PR company who manages Chrysler’s company blog found out, nothing ever goes away on the internet.
Didn’t see the carnage? Here’s the said Google cache link.
We ran through the comments and here are some of the most intense. It’s clear that some are just mean spirited or downright rude, and while it’s easy to pick out the negative examples we’ve made sure to include some of the comments made in support of the company’s choice to run the ad as well.
Mr Nardelli, Fire your PR and advertising teams and execs immediately. We the People did not want to see any more ads and money wasted on ads, be it from Chrysler, et al, or from your own pocket. You should have put up a website thanking the people and just submitted it to various online news aggregators for free. Once again, I am pained to see you are demonstrating a lack of common sense and fiscal responsibility. We supported the bailout of the car companies, even in the face of the horrendously mismanaged and secretive bailout of banks, and you stlil throw money away in the name of your company. Time to wake up. Sincerely, Matt and the rest of the Internet.
I’m speechless. And I’m saddened that a corporate management team is so inept at understanding public opinion. Some advice: issue a press release stating that you regret that you made a mistake using taxpayers’ money in this manner.
Dear Chrysler, I’d like to thank you. You have now completely converted me to a 100% foreign car owner from this point forward. I was, emphasis on was, a proud owner of a 2006 Dodge Ram Quad-Cab 4X4 with a Hemi. As you are well aware it is among the more expensive models of vehicles you sell. After seeing the parent comapny of Dodge falter and beg for money from the US Tax payers, I am no longer proud to own this vehicle. In fact, I will finish paying off my loan and proceed to my nearest Mini Dealership or Nissan Dealership and buy my next car there when it comes time. Why? Not because I don’t like the truck. I do not approve of the money that was given to you by our President. I do not approve of the slap in the face I felt when I read your ad. Why did you need to take a bail out? Poor management. This ad just goes to show that you and your company has not learned anything, and like the rest of the US I am upset. This opportunity was squandered, by you and your incompetance. For the sake of my tax dollars I hope you succeed with a restructure like the late 70s early 80s when you received your first bail-out. However, with the poor decisions of this ad I forsee a bad investment on the horizon by the US Government.
Thank You? Kiss mine you looters. I had ZERO choice in the matter. The money was taken from me by FORCE of GOVERNMENT and given to you. Ads like this reaffirm my decesion to buy a Honda last year. Bottom line Chrysler- I WILL NEVER BUY FROM A COMPANY THAT POINTS A GUN TO MY HEAD AND THEN SAYS THANKS. This ad infuraties me. Rot in hell scumbags.
Mr. Nardelli, thank you for your hard work and effort into saving an American company. Please pay no attention to the nay sayers who berate Chrysler or your latest Thank You ad. I find these folks upset at the ad are only upset that the loan was approved. They do not understand that this money was already approved and appropriated for the car companies. So their complaints about the money being stolen from them is a joke. They also fail to understand that the auto industry (domestic included) is suffering from poor judgements made during the Clinton Administration. Matter of factly, the economic downturn can be contributed solely to the fact that they forced Banks (under CRA) to make risky loans to underqualified individuals. This single handedly causes a chain effect with almost stopped the banking industry in it’s tracks. I hear no one complaining the banks were receiving assistance to keep the banking industry alive and running. This assistance is even being see in other major countries as well. They fail to comprehend that the bridge loan is not a wall to help the auto industry being it has been mismanaged but instead because they realize they mismanaged our government enough to affect the auto industry. This is where the true blame lies, but folks don’t want to admit their guy put us in this mess. For those that don’t understand, let me put it to you like this. You go to the bank to get out some grocery money and you find out, all the banks have closed, gone out of business, or simply have a sign that reads in the window “No more money.” What do you do? You have worked hard, put away and saved your hard earned money, and did everything right, but you are still without cash. You still have to put food on the table and pay your bills, but through no fault of your own, the system broke down affecting how you (personally) could conduct your business. Did you mismanage your personal finances? No……. This is the argument we hear today. The auto industry wasn’t granted this bridge loan because it was popular. It was done because it was needed. Many just dont understand the complexity of the issue, the true facts behind what occurred and what is at stake. We know politicians and they would not have given these loans if A) they didn’t think they would get it back, B) it was the right thing to do. So thank you from the public. We need to support America and stop blaming American union workers for what they believe is the cause for their lot in life. We should cheer the fine quality of cars we produce at a fair competative price to those of even the best foreign cars. Our domestics have been getting high marks in quality and fuel efficiency however, it is hard to overcome the foreign is better mentality people seem to cling to. Keep up the good work. Keep making cars people want, and you will continue to be successful.
Wow, putting that message on a blog is another Great Corporate Blunder! Which one of the Chrysler Senior Management team is saying “Hey, there’s no such thing as bad publicity right?” Bet one is. Anyhow, I’m trying to work out if putting this message on an open blog is in the top ten corporate slip ups for 2008 or 2009. PS, I get the impression the Unions have won now so keep those high pay deals going lads and we’ll see you t*ts up in, oh, around 2010.
As a former 2d generation Chysler employee, former owner of Chrysler products (for over twenty years), and former stock-holder, I say to hell with Chrysler – one of the worst companies in America. Your products are low-quality trash that fail to change with the times and needs of the customers. Your dealerships are greedy cheats looking for ways to screw over previously loyal customers. Your after-sale dealership service is price-gouging piracy that cheats the customers. Your plants and offices are mismanaged to the point of waste and incompetence. Your senior management are blood-sucking leeches bilking the investors – and now the taxpayers – while laughing at the plight of the common man. Your bloated Unions are full of lazy, arrogant , over-paid and self-centered asses who think everyone owes them a high-wage living while they f-off at work. A sad end to a once proud company. Why can’t you die respectably like every other self-respecting corporation that couldn’t make a go in hard times – through bankruptcy. Damn you all for demanding another (yes, I remember Iaccoca – I was there!) bailout. I will never again buy a Chrysler product, invest in the corporation, or recommend that others do so. I own exclusively Honda products now, and am glad of it. Chrysler bankrupt and gone? I say, Good riddance to all of you.
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