Southeast Toyota, which is the largest franchised distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world with 173 dealers in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina & South Carolina, has reportedly pulled all of its advertising from local ABC stations. Why? Apparently, the group decided that the television stations were airing "excessive stories on the Toyota issues" by ABC News and its chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.
Although auto industry money is a bit tight at the moment, in order to sell vehicles, automakers have to buy advertising. Lots of advertising, in big, expensive campaigns with high production values and creative that's at the vanguard of style. Advertising agencies that can handle the needs of giant clientele with international brands are still happy to welcome automotive accounts through the doors.
Toyota just can't seem to catch a break lately. Increasing recalls and slipping Consumer Reports ratings and now this. In a seemingly innocent commercial touting the fuel efficiency of its much-loved Prius hybrid, the company took a playful jab at Fresno, California. Basically, they made Fresno look like a place in which you would only stop if you needed gas on the way to someplace better, which didn't sit too well with folks who call Fresno home. The ad made it to Digg and then all heck broke l