News : MINI names lethal weather front ‘Cooper’ in PR gaffe

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

BBC News Europe

An advertising agency for BMW has paid to name a cold weather front sweeping Europe ‘Cooper’ in Germany, after the carmaker’s Mini Cooper. But the public-relations stunt by the agency went wrong after the freezing conditions led to dozens of deaths.

Germany’s meteorology institute allows the sponsorship of weather systems. On its website, advertising agency Sassenbach says that naming the front after the open-air vehicle was a ‘wind- and weather-proof idea’. It is encouraging people to follow the path of the weather on meteorological websites.

While the snow and ice have brought some stunning scenes across Europe, the freezing temperatures have led to at least 100 deaths, mainly in Poland and Ukraine.
In Ukraine alone, nearly 950 people are being treated in hospital with hypothermia and frostbite, the Associated Press news agency reports. The Munich-based advertising agency said it was no longer commenting on the unfortunate correlation between the progress of the severe weather and the car it sought to publicise. It has also named a warmer weather front to follow ‘Minnie’.

BMW has apologised for the stunt, which cost the advertising firm €229 (£190). In a statement, the carmaker said it could not influence exactly when names for weather fronts would be used, or what a weather system would do. It said it deeply regretted that the weather front had taken on ‘catastrophic proportions’ and claimed so many lives.

The meteorological institute’s ‘Adopt a Vortex’ scheme has been running since 2002, with the money raised helping to fund weather monitoring at Berlin’s Free University. The institute is the only one outside the US which names weather systems.

[Source: BBC]

24 Comments

  1. @ Will M.

    Epic fail indeed.

    We shouldn’t laugh and take it lightly, it’s not funny…(snigger, snigger).

  2. @ Paul. It’s annoying but somehow I like it. Epic has somehow wormed it’s way into my everyday language.

    @ Andrew Elphick. Lol.

  3. I’ll bet whoever came up with this idea gets the cold shoulder.. It’s certainly put the freeze on his career prospects…..
    At least it’s got BMW a blizzard of publicity, although I hear from now on they intend do have a media whiteout on the issue.

  4. This is the exact kind of ridiculous thinking i’ve come to expect from the modern motor industry, and society in general. Well done you BMW for stubbornly refusing to buck the trend! 🙂

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