Photo: Sniff Petrol
I get a lot of press releases every day.Most of the time, they are written in very mundane language to tell me that an automaker is using a brand new supplier for electronics or they are sponsoring some sort of random event.
But today, a press release came from Lotus Cars that was replete with childish name calling and was topped with a picture of the CEO’s head Photoshopped on the body of Baghdad Bob, the notorious Iraqi information minister.
It also appears that the image was taken without permission from our friends at Sniff Petrol (which, for the record, is a humour site).
If you didn’t guess, that isn’t normal.
For those of you that aren’t familiar with Lotus, it is a small automaker from Southeast England that builds lightweight race and road cars. They have found tons of success on the race track, but profits have been a little harder. Still, somehow, they have managed to scrape by for over 60 years now.
In the last couple of years, the company has sought to reinvent itself. They added ex-Ferrari marketing man Dany Bahar as CEO, and he decided to take the company upmarket to compete with his former employer. At the Geneva Motor Show last year, he introduced five new models at once, something unheard of in the auto world.
He also has spent a boatload of money creating a lifestyle clothing brand and expansive motorsports sponsorships.
Until recently, Lotus was owned by Malaysian-state automaker Proton. But Proton, and Lotus, have both been sold to DRB-HICOM, a company that isn’t as keen on Lotus’ mission (or lack of profits). rumours about the sale or shuttering of the company have run rampant over the last week. The company even went so far as to opt out of sponsoring the Formula One Team that shares their name and has been denying that Bahar was fired.
These aren’t good things.
So to refute the rumours, Lotus just sent out a crazy press release instead of staying silent. I didn’t believe the rumblings before, but this release has made me reconsider that position.
Lotus also posted the press release on their Facebook page. Parts of it feel like it was written by a child and it also takes some cheap shots at competitors on the road and track. At first, I was not sure if this was a joke or the real thing. I’m not in PR and I bet after today, their PR person might not be either.
This is basically a lesson on what not to say. Vanilla press releases may be boring, but they don’t make you question the sanity of the entire company.
If the Facebook link gets taken down, enjoy the full release below (click to make it bigger):
Photo: Lotus Cars
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