BMW 3 Series - Autocar -
Autocar Rates The BMW 3 Series As The Definitive 5 Star Experience

If you work for a prestigious motoring publication you get access, pure access to the Disneyland cars. But enough about the Daily Car Blog for our focus is on Autocar’s YouTube feature of the BMW 3 Series. The video is clearly listed as promoted content. We don’t know if Autocar is promoting their annual Awards gig or if they are promoting BMW, or both. Kind-of a 2in1 double whammy of promoted content.

Clearly, Autocar didn’t pay themselves to promote the 3 Series, quite clearly BMW handed over part of their annual marketing spend to get the positive coverage, which totals about £5 million for the UK market. That’s not the issue because Autocar needs to constantly feed and sustain its business model and BMW badly wants to spend its annual marketing budget. It’s called a commercial opportunity. AHEM! – advertising – AHEM!

You see BMW desires to use Autocar’s highly respected motoring journalism brand to sell their cars. In effect, the motoring journalists featured in this video have now become car salesmen. Their task is to say positive things, everything they utter goes unchallenged. And that’s the problem with a bullet-to-the-head video like this, it blurs the line between journalism and product marketing. One has to ask, what is the point of journalism?

People also ask, what is the point of the Daily Car Blog? We have not yet delivered a reasonable riposte and we continue to be bemused by our very existence… anyway…

The problem we have with this video is that the journalists say the diesel engine has been getting a lot of “negative press” – not from you Autocar – and for good reason. BMW collided with Volkswagen in the dieselgate scandal. But it doesn’t matter to Autocar, presumably a gigantic fraud that has caused harm is just water under the bridge. Hey-ho.

They go on to say that “diesel is an incredibly relevant fuel” to BMW it is because they have invested billions in developing diesel engine technology and they want to make their money back. It’s an odd position for Autocar to take because dieselgate has triggered the march towards electrification. So that begs the question, is BMW paying Autocar- on the side – to prop up the diesel car?

And that further begs the question, what is the value of motoring journalism, in this specific case. Autocar has already given BMW as much free publicity as they can possibly give with prior 3 Series reviews and coverage. OK, we get the message the BMW 3 Series is fantastic. But even so, why should we take their word for it?

The truth is motoring journalism is dead. It’s been dead for decades.

BMW 3 Series - Autocar -
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