Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's happening at Europcar?
I came across something really appalling at this morning, a banner for Europcar with the sequence "Yes, I've been raped"; "Nobody at our office gets raped"; "Vote Europcar". See below:

See screenshot below:

I assume this has to be the work of some disgruntled employee or customer, but it is shocking, both for the viewer and the company itself. It shows the type of brand damage that can be done, but its antecedents are inexplicable.


UPDATE: I chatted to the Sales Director at Media24, who tells me that this is part of a bona fide campaign by Europcar, which makes this even more bizarre. It's supposed to be an "election parody" aimed at the upcoming local elections. What motivated the Europcar marketing director to pass this banner is totally beyond me. You're a car hire company, there is absolutely no brand awareness gain in being offensive. As a service company, they have probably already lost thousands of customers that have seen this ad, including me.