Volkswagen pranks its tarnished reputation on April Fool’s Day

In a time where misinformation, disinformation and outright fake news are features of our online landscapes that diminish trust, you’d think that brands (and Volkswagen in particular) would think twice – at least, think carefully – about actively doing anything that can negatively impact their brand reputation and instead do everything that promotes a sense of trust in their brand. Given that what’s good, bad or ugly is often highly subjective it’s hard to pinpoint a specific prank done by…

VW: Recalling a reputation

The Volkswagen emissions-test-cheating scandal moved on a few miles/kilometres this week with developments that saw the VW group headquarters and some employees’ homes raided by German prosecutors and criminal investigators, the CEO of the US subsidiary hauled in front of the US Congress to explain what happened (and where heĀ admitted he knew about the cheating in 2014), finger-pointing gets underway, dire warnings emerge about potential restructuring and job losses, and a share price that has fallen by 40 percent. As…

Add “to Volkswagen” to the business lexicon

As the Volkswagen emissions-testing-fiddling scandal rolls on – and is getting much worse for the beleaguered German firm – speculation grows that other car makers are also gaming the system. If the testing methods used in countries around the world are so predictable that knowing exactly how they work offers ready temptation to circumvent tests in ways that don’t really seem wrong – it’s just a little cheating, don’t you know? – it seems credible to take the view that…

Can a tarnished VW emerge successfully from #dieselgate?

The global #dieselgate crisis engulfing German car maker Volkswagen may well produce significant and disruptive change in the governance and regulation of the auto industry and publicly-listed companies in that industry (likelier in Germany than anywhere else, I’d say), although it’s far from clear what the consequences and outcomes will actually be. What’s extraordinary – except, maybe it isn’t anymore – is, on the one hand, the speed with which the unravelling of VW’s reputation is happening; and on the…

Desperation driving ad creativity

How do you address the clear trend of people not paying attention to your ad during the commercial breaks on TV? They’re either not watching at all during the breaks, or fast-forwarding through the ads if their programme is recorded; or, giving their attention to something else on a second or third screen. For whatever reason, people aren’t glued exclusively to their TV screens as they used to be in those golden days of yore. With so much competing for…

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