Dodge Reportedly Says No “Re-Do”

Dodge Journey

As our attention turned to last weekend’s search for a free Dodge Journey hidden somewhere in the East, it turned away from the controversy stemming from the Midwest search.  Now it’s back again.

You may recall that within hours of Brad Neidy finding the Journey in Oklahoma’s Black Kettle National Grassland, rumors started swirling about whether he had inside information.  Neidy is a troop commander for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which assisted crews filming the “clue” commercial.  The discussion boards on Dodge’s YouTube site were ablaze with accusations of a conspiracy.  It didn’t help matters that Dodge went four days before releasing even the smallest statement — that Neidy had declined the Journey and that the the contest rules were being reviewed.  Since then, many on the discussion boards have been stating that Dodge should “re-do” the Midwest search.  A Facebook page even started to that effect.  It doesn’t look like that will happen.

According to the blog, Automotive.com, Chrysler’s marketing communication officer, Eileen Wunderlich, had this response to inquiries:

“Dodge will not re-hide the second vehicle.  I don’t yet have any updates at this time, other than to say that there is no need to change the program rules.” [link added by The Off Ramp]

This information is just now starting to be circulated, probably because the people discussing the topic temporarily shifted their focus to the final search in the East and are just now returning to what has been called the “Great Midwest Cheat,” and — oh, yeah — neither Chrysler, nor Dodge, have actually issued an official statement about this.  Oh, Dodge — tsk, tsk, tsk . . .  you apparently didn’t take the free PR advice I gave you.

It’s unfortunate that the people who took part in the three searches, from their armchairs or on foot, are learning about Dodge’s decision from someone other than the company.  A quick Google search of “Dodge Journey midwest controversy” results in a list of websites, discussion boards and blogs, The Off Ramp included.  I find it telling that as soon as the East Coast search was completed, my post from last week on Neidy declining his Journey rose once more to the top of the “most read posts” on this site.  People are looking for information and they are talking about the lack of it, and, for the most part, they are people who already have a vested interest in the company, if for no other reason because they were following the contest.  I foresee that, as this news becomes more widespread, people will get even more upset than they were when this controversy started.

As for Neidy, many of those on the Dodge discussion boards have seen his action of declining the Journey as an admission of guilt.  However, Captain Chris West, public affairs officer for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, reportedly told Automotive.com that that was definitely not the case.  The blog reports that West declared the rumors of Neidy’s prior knowledge of the Journey’s location as “bogus.”   West said he had spoken to Neidy and that, in the wake of the controversy, Neidy decided to decline the prize to as not to shed a negative light on the highway patrol: “I have known Brad Neidy for a long time, and no one is questioning his integrity.”

Now it’s your turn, Dodge.  You said in last week’s statement that you would “provide updates soon.”  We’d like to hear from you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: