Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Take on Jaguar's Media Double Standards

This is a post that actually concern PRs, bloggers, journalists and of course the automakers themselves, but I gather that some of our readers might find this article enlightening. This is not the first time that something like this has happened but instead of busting our ass to report on the 2010 XJ while other sites had prepared their posts well before Jaguar released anything, I decided to speak my mind, and at the some time offer readers a different twist on the XJ story.

To recap, yesterday, a website with wallpaper galleries leaked the first photos of the 2010 XJ. Like many other websites, we picked up the story and posted the pictures only to receive an email from Jaguar's PR department threatening to take legal actions if we did not remove the photos - not even a grain of sweet talk there.

Of course, Jaguar did not seem to have the same problem with traditional media sites, but anyway. We responded to the email by saying that we understand their position, but are hugely disappointed that like many other automakers, Jaguar provides photos and press material to certain websites well ahead of their official release date allowing them to have an unfair time advantage over the rest of us.

And in any case, we weren't the ones to break the embargo, we just posted photos that were already spread out on the net.

Jag's press office replied to our email this morning saying that the automaker does not give the images to any websites, only magazines and newspapers that will publish after the embargo lift.

What a stinky load of you know what. As if Car Magazine or Autocar for example, won't have the story on their websites the second that the embargo ends. But it's not only the magazine websites.

The 2010 XJ embargo ended at 3:15pm EST and guess what? Autoblog, Jalopnik and other "chosen" websites and blogs had a comprehensive story along with a full gallery of images live on their sites at 3:15pm exactly. So I suppose that these folks have 'super-duper' writers that cook up a story in a matter of seconds?

I said it before and I'll say it again: that's the definition of double standards and I dare anyone to support the opposite.

Of course, when an automaker has such close and special relationships with certain media outlets (traditional or not), I have every right to be suspicious.

And some people ask why we and other sites post photos of cars that have not been officially revealed but are found on the internet. Leaving aside the fact that it's a story and we are obliged to report on it, the funny thing is that the ones that criticize the most always happen to be the 'chosen ones'...


UPDATE: Guess What? Jaguar Actually Went Ahead and Asked Blogger to Remove All Pictures of the 2010 XJ on Our Previous Post, Including a Chop We Made of the XF with the Maserati. For the Record, the Initial Photos Were Removed Immediately Upon Jags Request - No Ifs, No Buts. These Pics were Uploaded Much Later From Sites Like Edmunds that Said It Received the Okay from Jag.

Great PR Work Jaguar. You Remove These Photos From Carscoop (after the official presentation...) But Allow Everyone Else to Post Them

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