Lexus starts online debate about impact of hybrid cars

Lexus is creating an online forum to discuss the impact of hybrid cars on society. It says the move reflects the “changing nature of relationships” between brands and consumers.

The forum will have a panel of expert contributors, including Sir Bob Geldof, Joanna Yarrow, the author of 1001 Ways You Can Save the Planet, and Phil Sivell, who leads the climate change team at the Transport Research Laboratory’s Centre for Sustainability.

Sir Bob says: “This debate is important. We will never get rid of cars so we need to think about how to live with them without running the planet down.”

The forum, called “The Hybrid Debate”, launches today (Wednesday) and is the brainchild of digital agency Lateral. Lexus was originally planning to run a viral campaign about hybrids but felt the forum was “more appropriate for its target audience” after seeing Lateral and several other agencies.

Lexus GB CRM and database marketing manager Matt Button says: “Given the changing nature of relationships between brands and their consumers, we wanted to allow the audience to debate the subject and create a space for an open discussion.”

Marketing Week revealed earlier this year that Lexus was planning to launch a hybrid version of every model in its range within two years (MW April 12).

Lexus GB director Steve Settle said at the time: “We want to establish Lexus as the default brand for hybrids.”

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