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Chicago Auto Show Blog

Something to "LA"ugh about

Posted by: Jennifer Ferm

If you haven’t already seen the grueling images smacked all over the TV, you’ll hear this interesting piece of information now. While Paul Brian quaffed a tall Sapphire and tonic in the lounge after the first day of the L.A. Auto Show’s media preview, to his amazement a CNBC reporter by the name of Jane, who Paul says “isn’t credible or interesting enough to determine her last name,” (ouch!) did a special report from L.A.’s show floor to show the harsh lack of attendees. Playing off the suffering economy bit, she stood in front of a dark, abandoned show floor and said how devastating it was that the public could no longer afford to go to the show--or some such nonsense. What viewers at home didn’t know, was that she was reporting an hour after the show had closed down on a media preview day (the show hadn’t even open to the public!). During media previews, only accredited media and industry execs have access to view the auto show’s cars, which was shown on TV an hour after it shut down. Journalistic objectivity? We don’t think so!

That being said, I’ll try to paint a picture of what should’ve been seen on TV. After speaking with Paul, (who visited the media preview during regular hours) I have a better image of what the L.A. Auto Show was really like. Industry folks floated about the show floor to get a peek at some of the most desired cars on the market. He noted the “best exhibit munchies” and gives the award to Audi (charred rare fillet) and Suzuki (fresh baked cookies and milk). Then after Paul loaded up on highly caffeinated beverages from Jaguar and Jeff Marchant (Jaguar and Land Rover’s marketing and advertising boss), he was jacked up to get a glimpse of his favorite cars of the bunch. Some of Paul’s favorite included: Mustang (“awesome, muscular, true-to-its-roots”); Lexus RX (“classy, more sculpted than chiseled as some had expected”); Mercedes SL AMG (“Deliciously over-the-top”)--Paul couldn’t help but salivate and compared this particular vehicle to a vehicular Angelina Jolie: “So desirable, beautiful, but you just know you’ll wind up getting into trouble.”

Overall, Paul thought all of the displays were wonderful but thought that Bentley was the most elegant in its simplicity. Paul was thankful to be welcomed in for a glass of champagne at Bentley with Dave Reuter, Valentine O’Connor and Bentley President Christophe Georges. He said these folks always make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world, can’t get you enough information, or offer enough suggestions on how to take their brand’s story and make it relatable--which is the benchmark of great PR team.

Despite the irresponsible, misleading reporting of CNBC and banter about the economy, Paul thought the preview attracted a magnificent turnout and looks forward to seeing that level of interest and energy continue through the next three major US auto shows.

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