Harley-Davidson is furious. It’s furious with an upstart dealer named FH Warr & Sons. The dealer has started a cinema advertising campaign for Harley condoning prostitution, neglecting the elderly and starving your children as perfectly reasonable ways of saving up for a bike.
Of course the real, respectable Harley-Davidson UK Ltd does not endorse the ads, and does not want to be associated with or in any way publicise the campaign.
So says its PR & marketing manager John W Lewis in a lengthy faxed letter to Marketing Week,which helpfully gives the names and addresses of all the parties involved in the campaign, an outline of the “potentially newsworthy” ads and a copy of FH Warr’s press release.
“If you were not aware of the commercials before, I am sure you are intrigued now!” ends Lewis. Quite right. But it is not the ad campaign staged by the little-known dealership that is intriguing, rather the PR campaign being waged on its behalf by the supposedly shocked Harley-Davidson.