Last Call: Porsche loses media in translation

We recently reported (PRWeek, October 9) on Murphy, the guy whose law is the scourge of PR executives everywhere, ravaging a Honda news conference in Detroit with his familiar 'everything that can go wrong will' attack. Well, Murphy gets around, and he's not just an Irish-American as many might think.

No, this time he's made it a bit farther afield. Porsche AG's turn came next, at the recent Paris Auto Show, where the German automaker was introducing a new model to the global media.

To make the presentation, Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking was wired to have his speech - in German - simultaneously translated into English, French and Spanish.

But according to trade paper Automotive News, a technical glitch knocked out most of the English translation, leaving jet-lagged, bleary-eyed, English-only reporters not speechless but, um, hearless.

When informed of the communications breakdown, Wiedeking cried: 'Oh, no! - that's our biggest market!'

Given the recent experiences of Honda and Porsche, PRWeek would like to suggest that it might just be easier and safer to simply give a car to some influential journalists - like us, perhaps?

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