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Rethinking the Embargo Game


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Rethinking the Embargo Game

Automakers' time-honored system of handing out early photos and specs of vehicles to the media and embargoing their release for maximum exposure during the Detroit auto show has been thrown asunder this year by the blogosphere and the heightened competition among media to be the first to show photos of hot new cars.

So far this year, information about the Chevy Malibu sedan, Dodge Viper sports car, the Lincoln MKR concept and the Chevy Camaro convertible has leaked out early on the Web and in car magazines.

On Wednesday, the issue reached new heights when photos of new Chrysler minivans, arguably the most important vehicles at this year's North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center, were posted on a Spanish language car enthusiast site.

The two photos -- one showing the front and another showing the rear of the new minivan -- were quickly posted on other popular sites like Autoblog and Jalopnik.

Chrysler had distributed the minivan information and photos for release Sunday, the first auto show media day, when the company will have a press conference to unveil the next generation of its family haulers.

While Internet leaks are not new, the practice has never been as rampant as today and it's forcing automakers to rethink how they unveil new vehicles.

The Detroit News

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One problem is that that different media around the world have a vastly different idea of what 12.01 am EST means. Given the westerly location of the US, that means pics will be released a day early by uncaring media. You have to question however, what idiot gives advanced material to an obscure Spanish website.

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