TOTAL SHARES 63

German car manufacturer Audi may be about to enter a PR shit storm, thanks to the naming of their social media campaign in the run-up to their Super Bowl ad.

The campaign (run by Audi of America) is based around a new creation called the Green Police, who will spearhead a social media program to build interest in Audi’s ad at this year’s football showcase. The Green Police enforce ways to protect the environment, and encourage people to a better understanding of environmental issues. There’s currently a series of YouTube mock education videos as part of the program, as well as a Green Police Twitter account.

The problem is, there’s already been a Green Police enforcement organization, but not one that you’d want to be associated with. This Green Police was part of the Nazi persecution and execution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust of the Second World War.

The implications of Audi’s choice of name for their campaign could be huge, especially since Audi is a German company. The first question is obvious – didn’t anyone at Audi’s PR or advertising arm/agency do any research?

It’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds and what Audi’s response will be as the connections to an unwanted history become clear, especially as today marks the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

What’s your take on what Audi should do next?

  • Update February 01 2010: Audi of America has issued a response to the post, which you can find here. While their response is sound, they may also wish to look at this resource from the Jewish Virtual Library vaults (if they haven’t already), or this report for further correlation. Additionally, Audi state that they researched and tested the ads prior to running them, and sought input from the Jewish community. Curiosity begs the question: if the research prior to the ad being run didn’t return any “red flags” about possible connotations to the term Green Police, why the need to seek input from the Jewish community about an environmentally friendly product?

TOTAL SHARES 63
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196 Comments on "Audi and the Super Bowl Social Media Shit Storm"


Audi Green Police - The Inspiration Room
2 months 16 days ago

[…] PR team have had their hands full dealing with the concerns expressed by at least one blogger, Danny Brown, over the similarity of the Green Police name to the German police squad, Ordnungspolizei, known as […]

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[…] Assoziationen. Im dritten Reich wurde die Ordnungspolizei als grüne Polizei bezeichnet. Im Blog von Danny Brown, der das Thema zum ersten Mal in einem Beitrag am 27. Januar 2010 aufgriff, sind bis heute 159 […]

Superbowl, Audi, Super-GAU: Wenn virale Kampagnen nach hinten losgehen.
1 year 13 days ago

[…] Assoziationen. Im dritten Reich wurde die Ordnungspolizei als grüne Polizei bezeichnet. Im Blog von Danny Brown, der das Thema zum ersten Mal in einem Beitrag am 27. Januar aufgriff, sind bis heute 159 […]

Darragh McCurragh
1 year 5 months ago

The Green police is about as empathic as Nike’s “Incubus” sports shoes were. The problem with all these advertisement and branding gaffes is: too little education. That cannot be remedied, at least not under five years of hard learning. But: one could AT LEAST, given today’s search possibilities, do a search prior to using ANY expression/term in advertising. That’s not too much to ask.

Holistic Therapy London
3 years 4 months ago

Is Germany becoming a Fascist State once again? Attempting to re-invent the Fourth Reich under the guise of Climate Policy? Is Audi USA run by hateful Anti-Americans and looking to Europe for some sort of utopia?

burns.james13
3 years 4 months ago

<a href=”http://www.wholisticmedical.co.uk”>Holistic Therapy London</a> Is Audi part of the new Nazi party? Does Audi really believe in Fascism? I ask because of the propagandized ‘Green” belief that Audi has in regard to the environment.

Holistic Doctor
3 years 10 months ago

For a company such as Audi naming their campaign after a campaign responsible for the execution of millions of Jews in the Holocaust of the Second World War is pathetic.
Wont be surprised if they have serous backlash and that too from their own country men.

ge
4 years 7 months ago

Is Audi part of the new Nazi party? Does Audi really believe in Fascism? I ask because of the propagandized ‘Green” belief that Audi has in regard to the environment. Is Germany becoming a Fascist State once again? Attempting to re-invent the Fourth Reich under the guise of Climate Policy? Is Audi USA run by hateful Anti-Americans and looking to Europe for some sort of utopia? Using propaganda that citizens will be arrested for using incandescent bulbs and plastic bags is the same as what the 1939 Nazi’s did to the Jews. Is this what Audi is all about? I believe that a Boycott on Audi is now the only way to stop this evil movement to a one world government and control. The Fourth Reich must never be allowed to rise, not as long as free thinkers take a stand and battle the evil that is Fascism, Socialism and Marxism.

Pego
4 years 7 months ago

Gag, this nasty chunky ad is still making the rounds… Ya know? You missed the correlation between Audi’s Green Police ad and all the previous creepy ads from the brief Electric Car era, where car companies used bizarre, unpleasant ads to “Unsell” a great group of zippy autos that would have helped prevent the current global urgency. Not to mention a new war. Audi’s hefty diesel SUV is not really *that* green and this creepy ad is shaped perfectly to target middle-aged white men and get them to jerk that knee on something. This ad will only attract people who actually hate environmental care, don’t understand the correlation between environmental abuse and illegal immigration or increased taxes, but still wanting to grab a tax break. This smells like anti-green propaganda, not sales. The target is Teabaggers. Audi and all the rest could trot electric cars off the factory rack within months, which would get over 3 times the mileage. The lack of engine vibration in battery-run autos would also prevent considerable wear and tear on the vehicle and the ensuing repair bills we have to pay.

Personally, I have to think that fewer replacement part sales have to affect how totally auto and oil are married to each other. But paying to fix your SUV doesn’t make you happy or rich. http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/25/paul.commentary/

alexander Finn
5 years 1 month ago

I don’t care if two Jewish people say this is ad is not offensive. I’m sure their were Jewish leaders supportive (of you know whom).
The ad campaign is some strange propaganda message in line with a current worldwide political movement of Global Warming/ Carbon Tax. That, by the way was the genesis of the Nazi Party, and the Communist party. Yeah, that’s right….both sides were funded by the same people. This is a fact, that can be easily read in the Library of Congress. You can just look up”trading with the enemies act”, and cross reference Prescott Bush. Even without history knowledge, people can smell B.S., that is why these ads are going to continue offending people…

Bakkerst
5 years 1 month ago

in comment to the author,

I think you are overestimating things here.
i quickly read through the comments and noticed you are originally from Europe, i am just curious as to which part you are from?

I am from the Netherlands, and currently live a stones throw distance from the German border, know a lot of German people and come there quite often.

i might come as a suprise across the ocean, but i perfectly understand that there where no Redflags from the Audi team. Come on, the regular german police are all dressed in green, drive in green cars (colour, not engine wise) and are known as “die Grünne” which basically meanse “the green guys..”

To me it sounds like someone on the other side of the atlantic is trying hard to make Audi look bad here.
If you would have done a bít more research you would have known this.

check out the link:

5 years 1 month ago

Hi Bakkerst,

I’m from Edinburgh, Scotland originally (only moved to Canada in 2006); have numerous friends in Germany (a few who are aware of the historical Green Police as well as the others); and spent a year studying in Bonn.

Research is always carried out, and the fact that so many other publications have gone even deeper into the topic shows it’s not just “someone from the other side of the Atlantic” that’s looking at the behind-the-scenes of the Super Bowl primer ads.

Cheers for dropping by, appreciate it :)

Bakkerst
5 years 1 month ago

i understand that you have done research, but in this modernday context, why all the fuzz? the germans don’t seem to care, the german police is still in green. and if anyone objected to that, surely we would have noticed a change somewhere the last 65 years?

i meant, and mean, no offence but it just looks, sounds and feels like causing rumours for the rumours. i would be very interessted to know where these link to the old german green police first hit the general public.

and why are so many americans obviously so offended, or agitated by something that has not affected them in any way in this time before? if they thought the idea of police dressed in green and adressed as “green police” why did they not make this clear earlier? the Israeli/jewish community doesn’t seem to care much, the germans don’t care. why do americans care? it does not, and has not affected them?

5 years 1 month ago

Hi again Bakkerst,

There will always be “sides” that care, and those that don’t. The original post was (and remains) a question about research and decision-making; the comments and additional posts are points of view. Obviously many people do care and as mentioned, there are things that time doesn’t dull.

You obviously are on one side of the discussion, many others are on the other side. That’s the beauty of open discussion.

GaryUS
5 years 1 month ago

I appreciate your story here, Danny. I wasn’t involved in the pre-Super Bowl (following the campaign or reading your post)hype for the program. So I saw the commercial “blindly” during it’s run on the Super Bowl. I enjoyed it’s tongue-in-cheek humor and felt it was poking a bit of fun at the whole green movement. That being said, I have heard a lot of commentary post-airing and must admit, I haven’t heard any controversy surrounding the Nazi connection. Just both sides arguing over who’s on the wrong side of this eco-debate. I only say that as an outsider looking in and not debating in this echo chamber (not to offend here – lack of a better term). I live just outside of Manhattan and work in the New York area, so I felt that I should just post this for you. It’s still an interesting take, and not one that should be taken lightly particualarly from a PR stance. I’m also noticing, though, that people are just getting fed up with PC commentary (again not from this venue but more from the talking heads on TV and radio – and Washington) on what’s proper and improper to talk about – maybe that’s carrying over to this debate? I don’t know. Keep up the good work.

5 years 1 month ago

Hey there Gary,

Thanks for stopping by, fella. I agree – sometimes points that deserve to be heard (and I’m not putting this post in there – just using a generic example) often disappear due to apathy over “argument for argument’s sake”.

It’s a shame, as I’ve seen some terrific points of view over a great many topics shuffle out of view, simply because the topic has been covered to death, and not always in an open manner.

RE. the Audi campaign, it was interesting to see it voted both best and worst of SuperBowl – guess it’s one of those “no middle ground” moments. And that’s not even taking into consideration the other points of view around it… ;-)

Again, thanks for stopping by and offering your view, much appreciated.

Bakkerst
5 years 1 month ago

i just noticed this reply option, but i hope you have a look at my comment below..

Rakehell
5 years 1 month ago

It would no problem if the environmental movement was not being used as a weapon against the American people.

Hugh Ehver
5 years 1 month ago

You all need to switch to decaf.

Chris
5 years 1 month ago

Given the hullabaloo here, I perked up when the Audi ad came on. I thought it was much better than I expected, given the teaser online videos, and despite the obvious tongue-in-cheekness, I thought it was a little too cheesy.

USA Today readers don’t have the same tastes as me, since they ranked it sixth best: http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/admeter/2010-02-07-results-chart_N.htm

I’m mildly amused at the comments here about not buying an Audi based on this single ad. Your call, of course, and your reasons why/why not you’d buy any particular product, but to base a car purchasing decision on a TV ad? Wow. I’m impressed at the power you’re giving advertising.

Remy C.
5 years 1 month ago

There was never any “green” police in the Nazi party.
The Nazi appropriated the back to nature movement in the 30’s… yes.
But it was called something else.
The Reich Agency for Nature Protection
and The Reich Nature Protection Law of 1935.
Take the bus, ride a bike, walk! Hitchhike! Whatever you do, just don’t buy an Audi, not after seeing these obscene and offensive TV spots!

just me
5 years 1 month ago

The Audi 2010 (ticker: XETRA: NSU.DE) (that car) Super Bowl commercial that depicted a “green” police state is an insult. It is not even funny considering the recent events that have led to the erosion of American’s personal liberties.

I have not had a desire to own “that car”; however, considering the tone of “that car’s” recent commercial, I can say with 100 percent certainty that I will NEVER EVEN CONSIDER buying “that car”!

I will communicate this opinion to people I meet during the course of my business and will be sure “that car” maker’s attitude toward their potential customers is known.

Erik
5 years 1 month ago

I think you missed the point of the commercial

Erik
5 years 1 month ago

Talk about making a big deal out of nothing. I watched the ad and nowhere did i see a connection to the nazi era. If anything the message of the ad was anti fascism. Some of you need to check your satire meter because it seems to be broken.

Paul
5 years 1 month ago

Outside of Israel no one knows that the Green Police is the law enforcement agency for environmental regulations in that country.
When I heard the term Green Police in the Audi commercial during the superbowl I instantly recalled everything I’d ever read about the Green Police of Nazi Germany and Nazi occupied Holland and of all the otrocities that they committed.
Audi needs to pull that commercial and hope that this all goes away quickly.
People need to let Audi know that this nonsense will not be tolerated.

Ing
5 years 1 month ago

Audi owes NO ONE especially none of YOU an apology for this brilliant ad. The global warming freaks are the new totalitarians, as some of your posts and the recent global warming East Anglia scandal show.
“Jewish people should be given free Audis” etc.
Right, because we all have a “right” to extort luxury cars as penance for being offended (the near-constant state of the leftist). The proper response to Audi’s ad is to go buy two of them, then email a photo to every anti-Audi poster.

tony
5 years 1 month ago

Here is one for ya Danny boy. I have never been so offended by something on TV EVER!!!!!!!! So much so I was suppose to pick up a TT for my daughter as a belated birthday present. But after watching the Nazis on TV during the superbowl I will instead demand my security deposit back and will be getting in touch with corporate to express outrage.
In case you have not noticed the neocon fascist global elite are trying to install a New World Order and the Police are a Very real Concept in the USA right now.

so who in the F@)!K do you think you are to pull this kind of crap. I promise I am not the last American offended by this. Get ready to lose lots of business and I think it is time for a global boycott on the Nazis audi and Danny boy.

5 years 1 month ago

A global boycott on me as well, Tony? I better start stocking up on the tinned food ;-)

I was watching the #brandbowl feed on Twitter last night, and noticed this post received a huge spike in traffic after the commercial aired. Seems a lot of folk were Googling the term, as well as discussing numerous posts around the web that had looked at the name used by Audi of America. Many were in the same camp as you – they felt the ad was too close to the knuckle and promoted fascism.

Be interesting to see any metrics on the success of the slot.

Cheers for stopping by, appreciate it.

Jamie Harrington
5 years 1 month ago

Well, it DID allow them to go viral. So maybe they did it on purpose?
.-= Jamie Harrington´s most recent blog post …Winner of the Farm Animals Autographed Book =-.

5 years 1 month ago

Possibly Jamie. If so (and it was deliberate as opposed to the non-awareness Audi of America say), then it seems a pretty dangerous road to travel with the potential backlash it could have.

Scott Perry
5 years 1 month ago

yes, research is VERY important, but i don’t think the historical relevance of “green police” is offensive to the average person as is the nannystate portrayed in the audi commercial, or as tasteless as FLOtv’s use of presidential assassinations in their commercials.

5 years 1 month ago

I didn’t see the FLOtv example, Scott. Is this a cable or online channel? Whatever it is, that does sound pretty below the acceptable belt.

Duncan A.
5 years 1 month ago

What I can say is that your post is rabble rousing and the worst kind of blogging. I’m a jew – my family is jewish – we don’t associate the term Green Police with Nazis. I’ve read the sparse post. Its easy to pick a fight and use sensitive material but puhlease. Its the green police. Its Audi of America. NOT Audi of Germany. Big difference. You are the one that has made a serious lapse that will hopefully negatively impact your business. Clearly you dont research things. Before writing this – how could you not have done more research. You’re rubbish mate. You have no ethos.

I will never read your blog again.

5 years 1 month ago

@ Duncan. Hi Duncan. As I’ve mentioned throughout the comment thread, I certainly carried out research both for and after the post (and following the response from Audi of America). This is shown in the updated links, not to mention all the comments I’ve made across the web on various blogs that both support this blog and Audi’s take.

However, obviously you have your own viewpoint and that’s the whole point of opening a discussion – so people can share their take. Yours is clear, and thank you for any previous reading of this blog you’ve done.

@ Amelia and @Christina – I just wanted to say thank you to both of you. I appreciate your support and continued friendship, and I think this is a prime example of why having open comments works. Community comes in many shapes and sizes, and I’m glad you’re both part of this one. :)

Amelia
5 years 1 month ago

I recognize that I run the risk of this comment being moderated, since I am about to call out another commenter, but I am o.k. with that.
Duncan, regardless of your opinion about this piece, and whether you believe it merits your time and attention is certainly your opinion and you are more than entitled to it.
Comments like yours, however, are difficult to regard with any respect. Danny, I give you props for the professional manner that you have maintained, especially when dealing with commenters who have made the choice to check their professional hat at the door. It is so much easier to give credence to a comment that takes issue with what you say when it is couched in discourse that seeks to explore ideas, debate viewpoints, offer an alternate view. This is why your readers will continue to come back to your blog and this is why you have likely experienced an increase in blog readership. You have been willing to put your ideas out there, take criticism and frequent bashing all while maintaining your professional demeanor and respecting the dignity of everyone who has posted here. Kudos to you!

Ct Kingston
5 years 1 month ago

Amelia, this is beautifully said and I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding Danny’s character and professionalism in handling the vitriol of the anonymous characters (trolls) above.

Danny shows nothing but grace and unlike many other bloggers he allows an open comment section without strict moderation, without silencing or excessively weeding out the bad apples. He turns the apples into pie. Okay, not pie, but you know what I mean. Or maybe not. Forget the pie.

Great comment Amelia. If this particular blog out of the numerous others that Danny has posted causes someone to never come back, so be it.
.-= Ct Kingston´s most recent blog post …The Death of Sex =-.

George
5 years 1 month ago

I just posted this on Fourtitude. I had access to Audi execs this week and did some inquiry. It’ll help everyone here make a more informed decision as they can now see the other side of the story and it answers Danny’s original question.

Begin Post…

Late last week we covered a story about a blogger who equated the ‘Green Police’ theme of Audi’s upcoming Super Bowl ad campaign starring the A3 TDI to a Nazi-era German police unit known as the Ordnungspolizei (translates directly to ‘Order Police’). It seems that a Googling of the term provided the author or his source of the obscure nickname of ‘Green Police’. Given Audi is German and so too were the Nazis, the author drew a comparison suggestion that he believed Audi had used poor judgement or hadn’t researched the term, using the ad either ignorantly or despite any supposed known offense the ad might represent. The story has since run on Autoblog.com and Jalopnik.com, prominent blogs in the auto industry, and has made ripple further on Twitter and amongst blogger Danny Brown’s own readers – many of whom seem to be in the business of PR or social media consultancy and not entirely without interest in the matter. For the record, I write this while at the same time being editor in chief of an Audi-focused online magazine and have my own obvious interest that also comes with a fair degree of expertise with the company in question.

I have been able to hear Audi’s side of the story and have also previewed the ad in question. The ad won’t air until the Super Bowl but I can give you the story from Audi’s side rather than rushing to judgement and share a basic synopsis of the ad. First, let me start by quoting the question Danny asked.

“The implications of Audi’s choice of name for their campaign could be huge, especially since Audi is a German company. The first question is obvious – didn’t anyone at Audi’s PR or advertising arm/agency do any research?”

The short answer to Danny Brown is ‘Yes, they did research it and followed up that research with further due diligence as a result of the story.’ As Audi initially checked background on their ad concept, not one person with whom Audi inquired drew any association with the term ‘green police’ other than the obvious timely reference to environmental matters. To quote Audi representatives “We researched the term. We tested the ad concept with focus groups. We sought input and reaction from key organizations, including the Jewish community, and we sent out a press release that went to thousands of media, and not one reaction.”

Since learning of the public questioning of Audi’s judgement in the matter both on Twitter and Danny Brown’s blog, Audi of America immediately consulted several notable and prominent Jewish community resources including the Anti Defamation League and the Holocaust Museum. Further, I am told by Audi that the holocaust museum went further with the inquiry by asking the opinion of several holocaust survivors. Rather than an anonymous Google search or user-edited Wikipedia reference Audi took the time to go to those who could directly speak for the Jewish community and not one reference felt the term ‘Green Police’ insinuated anything other than environmental awareness enforcement. It’s been mentioned several times over during this debate that Israel themselves have an environmental unit known as the ‘Green Police’ as do many other countries.

From everything I have seen, Audi takes this matter very seriously though I suspect they have largely stayed away from responding to it so as not to give it any more merit than it is due. The reality of the situation is that there was no malicious intent, no wanton action, no lack of care in deciding upon the campaign.

Danny Brown mentioned his attempt to make contact with Audi of America. My source says they have no record of a Danny Brown attempting to make contact for a response. The only inquiry that came through via the usual PR channels arrived through contacts listed on the original press release and that inquiry was from Ari Herzog, a commenter on Brown’s blog who originally argued against the merits of the post based on Israel’s own ‘Green Police’ unit. Brown may have attempted contact but Audi is unaware of what method he took and would have known had it come in the expected PR channels a member of the media like Danny Brown would be expected to use.

Yesterday Danny also responded to a reply on the subject posted by Audi on Autoblog.com. It reads…

“Update February 01 2010: Audi has issued a response to the post, which you can find here. While their response is sound, they may also wish to look at this resource from the Jewish Virtual Library vaults.” (Ling Above in Danny’s Post)

I just did my own quick search and the word ‘Green’ is nowhere on the linked page.

Tonight I was also able to preview the upcoming Super Bowl ad. In it are the same Green Police comedic enviro cop unit as the preview videos. The ficticious group of slightly inept environmental do-gooders is used to show that simply being green or environmentally aware isn’t always easy to determine. Toward the end of the ad there is a product shot of the already confirmed Audi A3. The message is not one of violence and simply one meant to raise awareness of Audi’s TDI Clean Diesel movement and that it is one way you can be green. The ad is light-hearted and, in my opinion, rather innocently plays at the environmental theme.

Will this post end the discussion on the matter? Likely not. World War II was a tragic portion of world history and far be it from me to tell someone what should or shouldn’t offend them. My hope though is that people will see both sides of this story and perhaps be a little less judgmental about a company and line of automobiles for which I have a lot of respect and share a strong affinity. I know these people. These are good and thorough people who’ve created one of the best marketed brands in the industry through as much attention to detail in marketing as they also instill in their cars. I find it unfortunate that many without any knowledge of the situation and a tenuous association based on a wikipedia entry would pass judgement and I do hope that this post will at least educates those so that they may make an informed and intelligent decision of their own.
.-= George´s most recent blog post …Audi Sport Plans R15 "plus" Test Run in Le Mans Series Round at Le Castellet =-.

5 years 1 month ago

Hi George,

Thank you for the reply and Audi’s response. I’ll quote and reply as per you have, to answer your points:

“We researched the term. We tested the ad concept with focus groups. We sought input and reaction from key organizations, including the Jewish community, and we sent out a press release that went to thousands of media, and not one reaction.”

Fair response. Yet one thing stands out; if there was no connection made prior to the link to the historical connotation of the name Green Police, why was anyone of the Jewish community approached for an ad about the environment? Wouldn’t a community – in this case, Jewish – only be approached if a company was aware of a potential hiccup? And I’m a little surprised (as were many other commenters who asked the same question) how it wasn’t spotted during initial research when a simple Google search sees it sat at #3. I think this answer actually raises more questions. Or maybe that’s just me ;-)

With reference the Google, wikipedia, research, etc angle on the Green Police, my original link for reference was to the article by the editor of the award-winning Encyclopaedia of the Holocaust, published in 1990. I think that adds some credence to the connection.

From everything I have seen, Audi takes this matter very seriously though I suspect they have largely stayed away from responding to it so as not to give it any more merit than it is due. The reality of the situation is that there was no malicious intent, no wanton action, no lack of care in deciding upon the campaign.

Audi’s take on the matter (as far as intent goes) was never in question; what the post raised was whether it was about to cause an issue, and how in-depth the initial research was. I believe that such an important campaign (Audi’s first real foray into social media) would definitely have stringent and extensive research; which again just comes back to the question, “How was Google result #3 missed?”. Even just highlighting it to an exec responsible for the green-lighting of the campaign for clarification; yet Audi’s response is that nothing popped up, which is why there was no need to worry about a connection.

My source says they have no record of a Danny Brown attempting to make contact for a response.

Initially I could find no information for contact on the press release sharing the news (there wasn’t one on the release I read), so I went via the Contact option on Audi’s website, with a link to the story and full contact info for me. Ari actually BCC-included me on his email to Kevin Ray at PMKBNC (kudos to Ari for getting the email) and I then sent an email of my own on January 29.

Yesterday Danny also responded to a reply on the subject posted by Audi on Autoblog.com. It reads…

“Update February 01 2010: Audi has issued a response to the post, which you can find here. While their response is sound, they may also wish to look at this resource from the Jewish Virtual Library vaults.” (Ling Above in Danny’s Post)

I just did my own quick search and the word ‘Green’ is nowhere on the linked page.

That is correct – the piece uses the official name for the police arm that were known by the term Green Police (as referenced in my post). However, as mentioned by more than a few people in the comments section of this post, they are one and the same. This article on DailyFinance.com offers more details on the connection between the two.

I find it unfortunate that many without any knowledge of the situation and a tenuous association based on a wikipedia entry would pass judgement and I do hope that this post will at least educates those so that they may make an informed and intelligent decision of their own.

Obviously the YouTube ads are part of a bigger picture, and one that only a few will see prior to the Super Bowl slot. However, the original link is more than a “tenuous Wikipedia link” (as I highlight above), and it’s not passing judgement on the videos and choice of name; it’s questioning the research and awareness (or lack of) and what internal discussions were had (if any).

One of the key things that has been noticed (and was talked about this evening on Twitter in the #pr20chat forum) is Audi (or their agency of record)’s response. There have been numerous examples of situations where a brand’s campaign tactics have either been questioned or raised curious glances; some have been responded to well, some not so much (the Motrin Mom example is a good one on how even a couple of days is a long time in social media).

For such an important part of Audi’s 2010 promotional push, their (or their agency’s) reticence to at least acknowledge the questions being raised in the comments is questionable. And this isn’t from a “listen to me” angle. Before Audi’s statements elsewhere, there had been over 100 comments on this post alone and more than 300 retweets. Not to mention the discussions online.

I’m in the comms and social media industry, and have been for more than 15 years (as have the majority of the commenters here). Even a simple “We’re aware of your questions and are/will be looking into it” would show that the company is listening to what’s being said about their brand. As it is, there were various reasons suggested as to the lack of comment (“not to give it more merit than it is due” is a mistake many companies new to the social scene make, unfortunately).

Audi’s response (as I mention in the update) is sound. Their explanation of their post-this article actions is also sound. However, as I mention, there are still some questions that may be new due to the response.

Again, as I mentioned on Twitter tonight, George, I do appreciate all the effort put in by you and for sharing it here.

Best,

Danny.

Ct Kingston
5 years 1 month ago

Danny has updated this post. Before commenting about how he’s a Lemming and those of us who felt the news disturbing are also lemmings (and whatever other trash talk you got cooked up) take a look at the actual post and read his update at the bottom.
.-= Ct Kingston´s most recent blog post …The Death of Sex =-.

Elon
5 years 1 month ago

I can definitely see why folks are in an uproar. With this great little invention called the internet, mistakes like this she not be made. Cover your assets people.
This is a PR nightmare! Time for some crisis management!

Ari Herzog
5 years 1 month ago

It’s very amusing to me to read one dimension in the majority of comments above… and the other dimension portrayed at http://jalopnik.com/5459627/audi-references-nazis-in-green-police-super-bowl-ad

Can’t both of you come together and admit there’s no story?

George
5 years 1 month ago

Ditto to Ari 100%. I guess it surprises me how little middle ground there is (kind of like politics today). People have come in here with their minds made up and, even given factual information such as Israel’s own use of the term, no one is willing to cede that maybe the sentiment against Audi is overreaction and sensationalism.
.-= George´s most recent blog post …“Best Cars of 2010”: Wins for Three Audi Models =-.

Christina Kingston
5 years 1 month ago

GREAT POST!

Holy Mutha! It’s outrageous! I can’t add much to the multitude of great comments above… Thanks for pointing this out to me and all of us. I’m as appalled as anyone should be. How can anyone be so daft and get paid so much for it?
.-= Christina Kingston´s most recent blog post …The Death of Sex =-.

Mike Dagge
5 years 1 month ago

I understand the hard feelings about Nazi Germany BUT please calm down a little. A google search for The Green Police just now – give you these results among others (below).

If Israel, New York City and Bangalore have no problem with the green police, why should Audi and you?

The Green Police of the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection http://www.sviva.gov.il/bin/en.jsp?enPage=e_BlankPage&enDisplay=view&enDispWhat=Zone&enDispWho=green_po&enZone=green_po

NYC Green Police http://planetgreen.discovery.com/work-connect/nyc-green-police.html

Bangalore Green Police http://www.thehindu.com/2009/07/21/stories/2009072155010500.htm

Maybe we can keep the things in perspective AND

NO: Audi ist not paying or instructing me to post this
YES: I like Audi cars and drive one