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 |  Nov 24 2011, 9:00 AM

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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Discuss this story at MicraForums.com

 |  Apr 02 2011, 2:58 PM

Ever wish you could parlay your love of cars into an actual gig? If that’s the case, then has Nissan have the job for you. In an all-new Facebook contest, you could win the chance to be a reporter at the New York International Auto Show (NYIS).

To enter the contest, create a 30 second video reporting about what you find most innovative about your own Nissan vehicle and enter it on Nissan’s Facebook page. If you win, you and a guest get to travel to New York and attend the NYIAS on press days. You’ll get to report on all the new car reveals, go one-on-one with Nissan reps and report on the show (which will be shared through Nissan’s Facebook page). Nissan’s highlights at this show will include the 2012 Nissan GT-R, the 2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, plus you’ll even have the chance to drive the all-electric Nissan LEAF.

“Nissan is committed to engaging our dedicated fans who contribute to our active Facebook community,” said Erich Marx, Director Social Media & Interactive Marketing. “We believe the New York International Auto Show is a great venue in which to bring an owner to connect with our brand and Nissan’s innovative new vehicles then offer them a chance to report back to the community from their own unique perspective.”

The contest is running now and runs until Tuesday, April 12, 2011. You can see all of the contests and details by clicking on the Reporter Contest tab on Nissan’s Facebook Fan Page.

For complete coverage of all the vehicles at the show, see AutoGuide’s New York Auto Show preview and coverage page here.

 |  Mar 10 2011, 1:40 PM

ugly_bugatti_1.jpg

A group of Facebook users have decided to take advantage of Bugatti’s in depth Veyron configurator by holding a contest to see who can produce the ugliest Bugatti Veyron out there. Now for those that haven’t played around with the Veyron configurator – mostly because many of us never plan on owning one – there’s a lot of options and versatility in the app that Bugatti has developed for potential buyers. Nearly everything on the car can be configured in terms of color, which makes for some fantastic results even if you just randomly clicked blindly.

We of course had to join in on the fun. We don’t think we did too bad ourselves, though the competition is pretty heavy out there. But really, mixing and matching the most atrocious combination of colors imaginable makes any car, even a supercar like the Veyron, pretty grotesque.

[Source: Facebook via Autoblog]

 |  Dec 17 2010, 8:01 PM

If you’re in Toronto and wanted to get into the holiday spirit, MINI Canada and their happy elves made the trip downtown to let people know they were in the giving mood. In fact, they still are, and want to give you one of three all-new gift-wrapped MINI Countryman models.

MINI and eight happy elves took to the streets of Toronto recently to make some new friends. This was done to promote MINI’s Facebook contest, where fans are invited to see how many friends they can virtually fit into the all-new MINI Countryman (coming to Canada in January 2011).

The contest runs until December 30th and the winner will be announced on January 12th.

“Bringing our virtual contest live to the streets of Toronto lets us interact with our customers and fans in a hands-on and engaging way,” said John Cappella, Director, MINI Canada. “That is what MINI is all about – being extroverted and socially energetic. Our Facebook contest is the epitome of that desire to interact; taking it to the streets is the proof of our energy.”

If you didn’t get a chance to see the elves in action, you can see the pictures and video on MINI Canada’s Facebook page. If you want to enter the contest, visit www.facebook.com/MINI.canada.

 |  Dec 17 2010, 12:56 PM

By getting into the holiday spirit and putting up some outdoor lights on your house, you could win a two nights at the Ritz-Carlton and a test drive in a Tesla electric supercar from Sunday Drive.

The challenge, which is called “Candy Cane lanes,” gives you the chance to take a test spin in one of the world’s most awesome cars, the Tesla roadster. The grand prize winner will get a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Half Moon Bay. It also includes Sunday brunch followed by a cruise along the “Signature Drive” beginning and ending at the hotel.

All you have to do is post up to ten photos of your favorite outdoor Christmas light display on the Sunday Drive Facebook page. Then, click “like” and tell your friends to do the same. The set of photos with the most “likes” will win. If you really want to win, you can earn double points by recording the route and adding photos with the Free Sunday Drive app on iPhone, then logging on to the website and clicking “submit” (this makes the route available for others and will automatically enter you for the contest).

“People take a lot of pride in decorating their homes during the holidays, we wanted to create a challenge to recognize the most brilliant displays,” said Jason Scott, CEO of Sunday Drive. “Mobile and social networking are ideal and fun ways to find the best neighborhood light display in America. Part of the goal for Sunday Drive is to encourage communities and families to spend more time together. Traveling to the best local light displays is a traditional and nostalgic way for people to do that.”

Hit the link below to visit Sunday Drive’s Facebook page

[Source: Sunday Drive]

Read AutoGuide’s Review of the Tesla Roadster by Clicking Here