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Social media slams Holden over ‘Here to stay’ claim

Staying power: Online communities have pilloried Holden’s Here to Stay advertising campaign.

Online community takes aim at Holden over ad campaign

Holden logo23 Dec 2013

By BARRY PARK

SOCIAL media has reacted angrily to Holden’s assertion that it is not leaving Australia after it pulls out of making cars in 2017.

The car-maker late last week launched an advertising blitz with the slogan “We’ re here to stay”, a claim that many critics posting on Facebook and Twitter say is wrong.

“Holden has been here for over 100 years,” the advertisement, broadcast on television, radio and online, says.

“And while in the future we’ll no longer make cars in Australia, we’ll always be committed to making the best cars for Australia.

“That’s something that will never change because we’re here to stay.” However, social media sites have slammed Holden’s claim that it will be more than just a badge once the car-maker pulls out of Australia.

As of late this morning, Holden’s Facebook page contained more than 1000 comments in response to a post about the ad – almost all of them negative.

“It's a hard sell and frankly you’re embarrassing yourself. How has any vehicle in your line-up of imported Chevy's with Holden badges been selected as ‘the best cars for Australia’?” wrote Stuart Brokenbrough.

“It's like the ‘I still want to be friends’ line after a break-up. No, no we can't,” said Bouka Senior.

Twitter was equally scathing.

“How about this question… Can you pack up and leave Australia altogether? We’d prefer it if you did,” wrote Pete Vee.

“Stop pissing in our pockets, the Aussie-built Holdens are gone forever,” wrote Twitter user Ryan Fellowes.

Holden vehicle sales, service and marketing executive director Philip Brook said the aim of the ‘Here to Stay’ campaign was to ensure customers understood that the Holden brand would remain in Australia. “Over the next four years we have hundreds of thousands of world-class cars and engines to build locally and sell. Beyond that time, we will be offering world-class cars sourced for Australia from GM’s global network,” he said.

Holden said the sporting identities appearing in the ads, including rugby players, AFL footballers and cyclists, had volunteered their time to make the ad.

However, all have received either sponsorship or financial support from the car-maker, including access to Holden-badged vehicles.

Swinburne University marketing lecturer Stephen Downes told radio station 3AW this morning that the ad campaign was a risky one from the car-maker.

“It’s clear what their intention is,” he said. “It’s to at least maintain their sales and their presence in the market until Holden ceases manufacturing here, and I guess to correct any misapprehension that consumers might have that Holdens won’t be available in the future.

“I think the risk is for many consumers and certainly for those close to people who work at Holden in the manufacturing sector, it’s likely to just reinforce the bad news ... and to provoke counter-arguments, for example, for the idea that it’s GM in the US that is pulling the strings and Holden is no longer a local business.”

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