Sunday, October 16, 2005

Brenda Priddy: Charlatan

What the hell is that? The picture to the left is some sort of SUV, what it is specifically I have no idea. Allegedly it is the upcoming Dodge Caliber.

Brenda Priddy and a few others all around the world love to sell these photographs to magazines, and then expect us to drool over them. But what are they? They are heavily camoflauged prototypes of soon to be made cars. The catch is that they are heavily camoflauged. That's the point. The automakers don't want you or their competitors to know what they look like before they come out. That's why they are made to look like bulky nothings. And often times much of what seems to be revealed is changed in the final car.

And that's why the automakers allow them to drive around in public. They know that no one will know what the hell the vehicle is, and has no way of really knowing the final design.

Yet magazines, dying for content print these. The more I think about it, I believe the auto companies actually want them printed. They reveal nothing about the car, and they act as PR for the companies themselves. In short, they are an advertisement. A free one at that, because the magazine, web page, or whatever didn't pay them, but a PR person did. And it wouldn't surprise me at all if Brenda Priddy or her competitors are "allowed" to photograph many of these at will.

It just goes to show that a great deal of what is "news" that mainstream press like "autoblog.com" and "edmunds" and "autocar" is really just stuff from PR firms representing the auto companies. Don't get me wrong, I work in PR and I love reading rehashed press releases. They are a source of information, just don't think that you are learning anything radically new, or different. You are being told what they want you to hear. They being the automakers.

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