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AutoBlog: Honda purges select comments from Crosstour Facebook page

21 posts in this topic

Filed under: Wagon, Japan, Marketing/Advertising, Crossover, Honda

crosstourlol.jpg

Many moons ago, when the internet was newish and Netscape ruled the land, we took a class called, "Anatomy of a Virtual Community." The idea was to explore and study how online communities functioned, if they were good or bad and if you really could achieve something akin to the mid-Nineties liberal arts school conception of "community." You have to understand this was back when chat rooms were as exotic as Tahiti and there wasn't anything on the internet but porn. The class itself didn't go so well, because most of the students wouldn't participate in the group chat the way the professor envisioned. Point being, it's quite difficult to control behavior in an online environment.

Honda just got hit upside the head with this particular lesson. Yesterday, we posted that the Crosstour Facebook page was overflowing with negative comments regarding the look of Honda's new CUV. Seems that the public at large isn't too thrilled with the design. We went ahead and ran our own poll and looks as if Autoblog readers agree with the Facebookians - 81.7% of you feel the Crosstour should be killed with fire, and just 3.1% of you think it is good looking. And we'd guesstimate that well over 81.7% of the ensuing comments are negative. Many rabidly so. Difference is, we left the comments alone, while Honda was purging 'em on Facebook. To be fair to Honda, they say they have removed a total 28 comments (out of thousands) because of "profanity or inappropriate content." Further, they note that they "...did not remove any comments that simply expressed a negative opinion about the Crosstour." They did, however, remove one that expressed a positive opinion.

Our pal Alex had the presence of mind to grab a screen shot of the above exchange which has since been removed from the Crosstour page. Obviously, this type of thing is embarrassing for Honda. And it illustrates what a sticky pickle modern day PR folks find themselves in. Regarding Eddie Okubo's comments, here's what Honda has to say:
Eddie Okubo is a manager in Honda Product Planning. His post was removed for two reasons: 1) He did not first state that he is a Honda employee and that his posting is his personal -- not Honda's -- opinion. 2) He is not a spokesperson for Honda.

Did Eddie really do anything wrong? He's an employee defending not only his company and that company's product, but his livelihood. Yet his comments and other similar non-sanctioned corporate communique will one day wind up in business textbooks as examples of how social media marketing can go very, very wrong. Also, isn't every employee with a Facebook/Twitter account suddenly a spokesperson if their company decides to use social media? It could be that multinational corporations just aren't ready for Facebook and it's ilk. It's definitely an issue that deserves further study.


Honda purges select comments from Crosstour Facebook page originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Sep 2009 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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To my knowledge this isn't on the light truck platform (but the Accord platform). I could be wrong. But if that were true then Eddie wouldn't have been involved much in its production, and he is certainly entitled to his opinion. If he wanted to hide who he was I doubt he would allow his full name (which can easily be Google'd to find out he works for Honda) posted with his comment.

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If he wanted to hide who he was I doubt he would allow his full name (which can easily be Google'd to find out he works for Honda) posted with his comment.

Don't have much of a choice on Facebook.

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I don't get how an inanimate object has a facebook account. Does it post it's birthday? Link up with other company inanimate objects? Fritter away time in Farmville ??

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Are we suprised that one of Honda's recent designs has an 80+% negative style rating?

There is hope for our species yet!

Chris

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Don't have much of a choice on Facebook.

Sure you do; you can create a new account under a nickname or alternate name. I have 4 Facebook accounts. Of course I use them to test apps and not for other less scrupulous actions.

I don't get how an inanimate object has a facebook account. Does it post it's birthday? Link up with other company inanimate objects? Fritter away time in Farmville ??

It's sort of annoying. People create "fan pages" for everything these days. There is probably a fan page for a beach nearby you. There is no regulation on it so people just go wild and create fan pages for everything from inanimate objects to companies to feelings. (yes, feelings)

Edited by siegen
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To my knowledge this isn't on the light truck platform (but the Accord platform). I could be wrong. But if that were true then Eddie wouldn't have been involved much in its production, and he is certainly entitled to his opinion.

While it is true that the crosstour is on the Accord platform, the grill looks like those of the light trucks. Maybe Eddie is responsible for that? :mind-blowing:

Aside from the grill thing and the fact that it is going to be the most expensive Accord, I like the crosstour.

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Are we suprised that one of Honda's recent designs has an 80+% negative style rating?

Very much so, yes. Popular opinion usually dictates that the H badge automatically makes any car beautiful.

If I had a wallpaper of this car I would have to find a way to clean VOMIT outta my keyboard. -- Matt Q.

We hear you bud. You made your point. Some people will enjoy this car and this is for them -- Honda

Blind people can't drive... Matt Q.

:rotflmao: :pokeowned:

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They need to purge their design team from the last 5 years.

I guess owners of older Acura/Hondas may be happy, their previous generation resale value may hold up pretty good given the new generations are coming up out as styling dud after dud. Hope the CRZ is executed better than this.

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companies need to pay folks to spend time monitoring internet comments. money that would be better spent making better looking, better functioning products.

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Very much so, yes. Popular opinion usually dictates that the H badge automatically makes any car beautiful.

Who thinks Honda's are beautiful? I buy Honda/Acuras and even I don't think they are particularly good looking. My wife bought a CRV recently and it is not particularly good looking. Honda's sell IN SPITE of their appearance.

To the topic at hand, thought this post was going to be about how Honda was censuring negative opinion. That concerned me. I was glad to see that they appear to have removed a positive comment by one of their own employees. It is proper business etiquette to provide full disclosure. I would have perferred if Honda had just modified the post to give that disclosure. I'm guessing they removed it instead because they were concerned about PR about Honda trying to "pull a fast one" over the web community by having employees post positive comments without disclosure.

Edited by GXT
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I'd be surprised if this doesn't make a subsection in a chapter of a Business 101 textbook. If there was a perfect example to demonstrate the perils of companies using social networking, it'd be this.

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why didn't Honda simply bring this over, it was already done, if they wanted so badly to win the ugly championship.....

2004-2006_Honda_Edix_rear.jpg

honda%20fr-v%20niot.net.jpg

3930979260.jpg

2004-2006_Honda_Edix.jpg

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why didn't Honda simply bring this over, it was already done, if they wanted so badly to win the ugly championship.....

2004-2006_Honda_Edix_rear.jpg

honda%20fr-v%20niot.net.jpg

3930979260.jpg

2004-2006_Honda_Edix.jpg

WOW, That is really Ugly especially the inside dash. I really hate the look of this as it reminds me of a mini minivan.

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Anyone have the name of the white tall hatch? Has a BMW X5 look to the side view of the greenhouse...

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Anyone have the name of the white tall hatch? Has a BMW X5 look to the side view of the greenhouse...

I was gonna say, that thing looks like a miniaturized Chinese knock-off of a BMW X5.

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Thanks for this post. I don’t know a large number of links to forums but my friends seem to be able to spend a lot of time on them that’s for sure.

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