Anti-GM site by auto ad vet stirs up online controversy

DETROIT: Following Ford’s battle with an enthusiast’s unauthorized web site (PRWeek, Sept. 7), General Motors has become the latest auto giant to face an online nuisance.

DETROIT: Following Ford’s battle with an enthusiast’s unauthorized web site (PRWeek, Sept. 7), General Motors has become the latest auto giant to face an online nuisance.

DETROIT: Following Ford’s battle with an enthusiast’s unauthorized

web site (PRWeek, Sept. 7), General Motors has become the latest auto

giant to face an online nuisance.



Peter DeLorenzo, a Detroit automotive ad agency veteran and son of

deceased GM PR legend Tony DeLorenzo, is ruffling the company’s feathers

with www.autoextremist.com, a site launched in June. DeLorenzo’s

background includes stints on GM’s Pontiac, Nissan, Dodge and Chevrolet

ad accounts.



Most of the gossipy material featured on the site is naturally about GM

- ’the kind of stuff you talk about in bars but never makes print,’

DeLorenzo said. ’I’ve always been opinionated about the advertising and

auto businesses, but I had no outlet.’



But autoextremist.com has humorously savaged some of GM’s executives by

name and criticized their marketing policies. Too, the site seems to be

hectoring GM differently than blueovalnews.com ribbed Ford. ’I’d never

print documents,’ DeLorenzo said. ’I’d just return them.’ Weeks ago,

Ford took its tormentor to court for printing confidential

documents.



Predictably, autoextremist.com has generated more than its share of

media attention in the close-knit Detroit auto community. But GM’s new

VP of communications, Steve Harris, said that he is trying to avoid

overreacting to Internet rebels like DeLorenzo. ’Sometimes, these things

are a bigger deal in the Detroit auto community than in the world at

large,’ he said.



DeLorenzo said the site has generated so many hits that he is now

accepting advertising.



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