Nissan Australia is fighting a public relations backlash after it was announced that the winner of a Facebook contest it held turned out to be best friends with a staffer managing the site. Far more than just a free t-shirt or a mug, the winner received a shiny new Nissan Micra, and a $1,250 gift card.
Nissan didn’t attempt to hide the identity of the winner either, announcing that Zac Martin of Victoria was the proud new owner of a Micra and commenting, “Congratulations Zac. Hope you enjoy the Micra. However, we say with all honesty and the best of intentions, we wish you hadn’t won!!!”
In the same post on the Nissan Micra Australia Facebook page, it goes on to explain that the page’s manager, Simon Oboler, is friends with Martin. In fact, Oboler described Martin on his personal blog as his “BFF” (best friend forever).
“We know how this sounds!” the post continues. “The reality is that he won fair and square and all is fully above board. The problem is that it will raise doubts in some people’s minds and gossip and conspiracy theories will surface.”
That they most certainly did with commenters on the post saying they’ll never buy a Nissan and demanding that the automaker show proof that the contest wasn’t rigged.
Nissan says it can limit participation by family members and employees, but not friends.
The contest, called Micraspotting, had competitors find hidden pictures of the Micra on Facebook pages belonging to bars, entertainment venues and clothing stores.
Nissan is sticking with its plan to award Martin the Micra despite the backlash and has said based on feedback it is looking at future contests, although with some changes.
The post on the Nissan Micra Australia Faceboook page continues. “Congrats once again Zac. Well done. Please don’t ever enter any of our comps again!”
[Source: Sydney Morning Herald]
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