Advertising alongside editorial criticism

Is there really no such thing as bad news?  Does an advert alongside negative editorial coverage deliver results?

I ask having seen that an online story in the Sydney Morning Herald claiming GM-owned car brand, Saab has been accused of “” over its “Grrrrrreen” newspaper and internet campaign – includes the advert (branded as such) on the site.

Presumably Saab paid for the spot where criticism is made of claims that

owners can drive with a “green conscience” regardless of their car’s fuel efficiency or engine size.

Makes you wonder whether the message that comes over will be the simplistic approach of Saab with its carbon offsetting feel good flashy ad campaign – or the critics who use editorial to slate the claim that “every Saab is green” which is based simply on tree planting.

In public relations we believe that editorial is worth more than advertising – don’t the Saab marketers agree?

Bizarrely the campaign also offers customers the option of $3,000 worth of fuel.  I think this is yet another example where those responsible for public relations should be recycling their marketing colleagues. 

[Story picked up from ]

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.