Motor Cars And The Media

Motor Cars and The Media - A Dangerous Mix?, by Greg Tingle

How much attention should the media pay to the motor vehicle manufactures and their latest releases?

Over the year the line between news, public relations, advertising and many industry verticals, such as motor vehicle launches and the like, has continued to get blurred.

Many media and public relations sources, that I will omit from "pitching" here, have suggested that over 50% of the news is in fact PR (Public Relations), and all too often, "product placement". Even on "current affairs" programmes!

Should "x" brand's new model be "pitched" as news? Probably not, unless there is something particularly newsworthy about it, or the product launch. "X" brand may have to start inviting major celebrities and world famous motor racing drivers to their launches, just to get a guernsey.

Even mini scooters have got in on the act. Many of you would have recently seen "x" brand being ridden on some Australian current affairs programmes by the presenters. As if they could afford a further decline in credibility!

Now, if a car was released that ran on water - that would be newsworthy. Well, that's not going to happen, as previous attempts to invent cars that consumed water, rather than petrol, resulted in the inventors of these machines going missing in action.

An event like the Sydney Motor Show is newsworthy, but let's not forget, it is about hyping a 4 wheeled product, decorated by some bikini clad women and other glitz, in an attempt to make these hunks of steel, more appealing and newsworthy than they really are. Of course, if you're in to that, and don't mind paying $10 plus to see something you can see on Parramatta Road for free, go for your life.

Car enthusiasts may think that motor sport and the motor industry is big news, but for those of you who know better, the motor vehicle industry is about churning out product, "heads" in car years, insurance and high monthly repayments.

If you want some real news in the car business, stand outside the school crossing when your local school finishes, and watch the close shaves as school kids avoid near misses from "petrol heads" that don't slow down for pedestrian crossings.



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