Obratnaya Svyaz PR Agency says two Yekaterinburg car dealers’ information war might hurt their reputation

‘The fact that two large Yekaterinburg-based car dealers have been campaigning against each other via mass media resources is sure to affect them both badly. If it is actually proved that the companies themselves are behind the negative publicity targeted against one another, they are simply going to lose all the credibility as far as their customers are concerned,’ Andrei Tavolzhanskiy, PR Manager of Obratnaya Svyaz Agency (based in Moscow), said to UrBC. Mr. Tavolzhanskiy believes if some bad reports on the companies appear online often enough, they will gradually seep in the potential buyers’ minds, which is going to hurt the car dealers’ reputation and therefore their sales. At the same time, the brands the companies are selling are not likely to be affected, he says.

‘It just does not make economic sense for the car dealers to blacken the brands since they make money through selling them. I don’t believe they would start spreading rumors about the cars themselves,’ Mr. Tavolzhanskiy added.

Early in August 2007, a new website www.rfblog.ru was set up and is regularly updated with some blackening news about Krasnolesye car center. The articles posted there are critical of the quality of the company’s service and predict its upcoming bankruptcy. In addition, they focus on alleged cases of treating the customers badly and alleged instances of unfair competition. The authors of the blog claim that it was actually created as a way of ‘publicly reacting to Krasnolesye’s unscrupulous business practices.’ Moreover, the materials featured there prove that the creation of this blog was brought about by an alleged negative publicity campaign targeted at Autoland Holding.

Both companies compete in terms of selling Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo cars.

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