Chrysler’s Firehouse “Blog” For “Serious Journalists” Only

Steve Hall of Adrants wrote last week about Chrysler’s half-hearted entry into the bloatoshpere. Half-hearted because one must present MSM credentials to “qualify” to read Chrysler’s press releases. I mean, how late 20th century can you get?

Detroit News: The blogosphere can be a jungle, as Chrysler is finding out. The U.S. division of DaimlerChrysler AG recently launched a Weblog called designed to spark rollicking online exchanges between the automaker’s executives and PR team and the news media. Well, Adrants, a marketing Web site filled with news and gossip, didn’t approve of a media-only blog. “This is idiotic. This is stupid. This is insane. Completely illogical and non-sensical.”
Adrants suggested Chrysler take a look at how General Motors Corp. runs its all-access blog – Ouch.
Chrysler PR chief Jason Vines shot back on the Firehouse: “It didn’t take long for the ‘brave’ Web-sters to direct their obviously clueless blather at A recent posting on another blog called our media-only site ‘stupid … insane … completely illogical and non-sensical.’ Hmmm … I could use the same terms to describe the cowardly anonymous poster’s understanding of what we’re doing here … but I won’t.”

Of course, we all know Steve Hall is far from anonymous. All but Jason Vines, that is. However, I have a feeling Vines is about to find out.
Thanks to B.L. Ochman and Random Culture for picking up on this story.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. If Steve keeps on writing “we” when referring to himself, this is bound to result in confusion regarding his identity.
    He did post an update with Chrysler’s explanation, and the explanation makes sense. Not all blogs are for public consumption, and Chrysler’s wasn’t advertised as such.

  2. Joe Bob Smith says:

    Remember, please, that Vines was the person responsible while at Ford for the Firestone Fiasco PR extracation. He did such a good job that he was dismissed (left voluntarily) not long after. His “finger on the pulse” leaves a little to be desired.

  3. Ilya,
    I think the use of the plural personal pronoun is justified when referring to the media property (Adrants) itself. If, on the other hand, the individual writer wants to make a point, then “I” is probably the way to go.
    As to the right to put up a private network, Chrysler has that right. No one is arguing against that. We’re simply saying they look stupid and hoplessly out of touch for not wanting citizen journalists to pick up their stories, as well.

  4. David,
    I think the problem has two dimensions. On the one hand, Chrysler probably should open up a general blog, GM-style, and in that they are way behind the curve.
    On the other hand, a closed blog helps Chrysler maintain their relationship with the “old” media and feed them stories that don’t get outdated as soon as they hit the screen, as it would happen on a general blog. If citizen journalists want in, it would be smart for Chrysler to let them in, but ask them to respect embargos and off-the-record exchanges. In that, I don’t see anything “illogical and non-sensical.”
    I also don’t agree on the “we” part. AdRant’s about section says the blog is “published” by Steve, but individual entries are not by-lined. Although Vines should’ve known better than picking a fight with a person who buys ink by terabytes.

  5. J.C. Rebon says:

    By gum, all forms of once leading-edge communication have been co-opted. Can’t wait for the PT Cruiser Podcasts. It’s all about creating energy, currents, ripples. something to spark any interest in the market for consumer goods – in this case gas guzzling cars that nobody wants to buy anyway. Make a quality product, people, and the PR process won’t have to take center stage.

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