AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Audi knows a thing or two about thumbing their nose at the world. The question is if people generally take it in stride or take offense.
Their latest advertising escapade (shown above) is probably one of the more unabashed examples of their cocksure style. A Chicago area Audi dealership sold an R8 GT and decided that moving a single unit was justification to rent a billboard warning other motorists of the possible predator in their rear view mirrors.
Car ads in general have a tendency to play up stereotypes and pander to particular crowds, but what does it say about Audi customers if that rule holds true? Consider this: Volkswagen, their parent company, recently had to pull a TV ad in Canada for their Passat because of complaints that the spot portrayed women in a bad light. Decide for yourself, but realize at the same time that the company, and in some senses the message may be similar.
Truth is, nobody gets hurt when a smug billboard goes up, and Audi does this a lot. Another R8 billboard sported the slogan “stay in school.” Another, perhaps more clever example was an Audi A4 ad in California that read “your move, BMW.” To the right of the Audi poster, BMW ran a response, saying “checkmate.”
One way or another, we’re happy to sit back and watch car companies one-up each other like kids playing chicken at recess.
Hot Wheels just got a lot more creative with their roadside advertising. This isn’t your average billboard – they’ve actually installed a giant ‘loop’ in the middle of an overpass in Bogota, Colombia.
From the side, it looks just like the famous loop tracks that Mattel has been entertaining kids with for many years. Now, it’s your turn to get into on the fun. The bad news is that you can’t actually do the loop de loop on your way into work. That’s a whole different advertising campaign that we hope Hot Wheels is working on – along with that drive-thru car wash the spits out your car at super-sonic speeds.
After we reported on a story from Foliomag stating that the Anderson and Source Interlink (Motor Trend‘s parent company) distribution companies were exiting the magazine distribution business, both companies are vehemently denying the rumor and Source is even vowing legal action.
The complex situation came about after Source and Anderson asked for an additional 7 cent per issue distribution cost from publishing houses they distribute for, claiming that if the 7 cent fee was not agreed upon by the publishers that the two distribution companies, which handle 50 percent of all magazine distribution in the United States, would cease distributing as without the 7 cent increase profitability would diminish or cease altogether.
According to Mediaweek, Time Inc. and Bauer Publishing (which publish magazines like People, Sports Illustrated, Time, and National Enquirer) balked at the threat and have stopped delivering magazines to both Source and Anderson. Comag Marketing Group, which delivers for Hearst, Conde Nast, Wenner Media, as well as others has, however continued to ship magazines.
The story recently got a whole lot more interesting when Source Interlink CEO wrote a letter to retailers, in which he stated that Source would pursue legal action, reports Billboard. Billboard obtained a copy of the letter in which Source Interlink chairman and CEO Greg Mays writes that the company will take legal action against, “an unprecedented and unprovoked assault on this channel by certain publishers and a national distributor… “They are trying to lock out competition in the magazine distribution chain to the retailer’s detriment. To accomplish this scheme, this group has spread false rumors about Source and attempted to undermine us in the community.”
Presumably, the “certain publishers” are competing publishing houses Time Inc. and Bauer and the “national distributor” is either Curtis or Comag.
Source also alleges that rumors about the company’s liquidity problems are unfounded that that the company has available funds to the tune of $200 million. Source also recently paid down its magazines accounts payable by $100. Still, it’s no secret that the distribution side of the business is hurting with Source recently laying off 462 workers at it’s Coral Springs, FL, distribution center, according to a report in the Miami Herald.
The publishing side of the business (including Motor Trend, Automobile and dozens of other titles), which Source purchased from Primedia for $1.2 billion has also been a financial drain on the company and our sources inside Source say that recent layoffs and magazine closures (including Sport Compact Car and Modified Luxury & Exotics) were necessary to free up funds so that Source could meets its financial covenant.