"Toyota dealers in five southeast states have pulled their commercials off ABC TV local affiliates, complaining about the coverage of Toyota safety problems by ABC News and its chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.
Executives decide whether to recall the Prius over software glitch.
The ad agency representing the 173 dealers told ABC affiliates last week that the shift was due to “excessive stories on the Toyota issues.” The dealers shifted their commercial time buys to non-ABC stations in the same markets, “as punishment for the reporting,” according to an ABC station manager. "
Doesn’t this seem to you more likely than not to bite the Toyota dealers in the ass? There will now be major news stories about how Toyota was so eager to keep news of their defects out of the public eye, they are attempting to punish a major national TV station for reporting the truth!
It’s definitely poor PR, which is exactly what Toyota needs right now. :rolleyes:
There is absolutely no way this is going to help Toyota. I’m betting that corporate headquarters is on the phone right this minute saying they’ll be looking for another ad agency for that account.
According to the linked article, it was not the ad agency that made the call, it was the dealer’s association, Southeast Toyota. The agency tried to talk them out of the move and explained the possible consequences.
If anything it’s just calling more attention to their problems.
It’s calling attention to the problems and calling even more attention to the fact that they tried to keep it secret!
Dumb move to tie the reporting to the decision to pull the ads. If they wanted to punish ABC, they could have done it by just pulling the ads, or not buying any more ads, without commenting on why they were doing it.
They need to make whomever decided to do that commit seppuku already. All of their top execs should have by now, if they had a shred of honor.
The guys that decided to do that were Southern Toyota dealers. I don’t think seppuku is a redneck thing.
However, they should definitely lose their bass boats over this.
The story now becomes the story. Really stupid move on Toyota’s part. Kind of makes their apology sound hollow. We’re sorry our cars have safety issues and screw anybody who reports it.
I was on a few other sites, (TV related) and I was surprised to see how much support over there, there was for Toyota. People were agreeing that ABC was pushing a non-story. Toyota screwed up and was trying to fix it and that should’ve been the end of it, was the attitude.
I don’t agree with that, but that shows there’s room for both sides in this argument. It will be interesting in the long run for this goes way beyond Toyota.
Like it or not, ABC News and other news agencies are now going to take a long hard look at how they cover future stories about companies that advertise with them.
The current Toyota thing is just what brought it to a head. It will be interesting to see in the future if the news outlets are more careful in their reporting of commerical interestes
Sounds more like the dealers’ association shot Toyota in the foot. Unless the advertising pull was Toyota’s idea?
This will definitely be a black eye for Toyota.
Other car makers have problems, too. They suck it up and move forward with the recalls. It’s more or less part of the game now. I don’t recall GM or Volkswagen ever trying to *punish *media outlets for reporting the problem.
I think Toyota’s move is going to 1) lead consumers to believe Toyota’s problems are worse than other car manufacturers, and/or 2) rub the public the wrong way for trying to “hide” information.
Jeez…does this mean the press will have to report Toyota’s problems in even greater detail now, so that they won’t look like they’re caving under pressure?
We live in a world where it’s all or nothing. My team is good and the other team is bad! Nothing I support can ever be wrong.
So it makes sense that Toyota dealerships would pull advertising from ABC affiliates, since ABC slandered their team!!!
The crucial question seems to be, was it the dealers’ idea or Toyota Corporation’s idea to pull the ads?
It’s relevant if the word gets out but if Toyota has to do damage control then it’s more bad ink at their expense.
Even worse competing brand dealers in these areas can exploit the fact that it makes these dealers look like they have something to hide in their local advertising. Now these dealers look like they are dishonest (relatively speaking for car dealers :D) as well as selling an inferior product.
Oh and while we’re on the topic, did anyone catch the Daily Show segment where they caught the CEO of Toyota, Mr. Toyota himself, leaving a summit and getting into… an Audi?
I think that about sums up their brand.
Whoever had the idea, it’ll be Toyota that gets the bad press.
Toyota USA, the manufacturer, runs mostly national ads on the networks ABC, CBS and NBC. Southeast Toyota is the master wholesale distributor for the Southeastern states. SET has it’s own rather large ad budget. All 173 Toyota dealers in the SE buy their cars from SET. The dealers and SET have their own local ad budgets and buy (through their agencies) directly from the local stations.
SET is probably the largest customer for most of the TV stations in the Southeast. The largest Toyota dealer in Miami, Orlando, Atlanta could easily spend $200,000 each per month on TV advertising. There is tremendous competition between TV stations to get a piece of this big juicy money pie.
Unfortunately, the dealers and SET know they are the top customers and they like to throw their economic weight around. The sophisticated “relationship building” strategy mentioned above is a daily occurrence in the car business. I know a local TV station where the Toyota dealer yanked his ad budget because the station covered the recall…
Well, at least no one is talking about Chrysler less than desirable cars. At least their brakes work.
I’ve noticed that Toyota is running some face-saving commercials talking about how hard they’re working to fix it… if anything, it would be better to have that commercial follow a scathing report, wouldn’t it?