The reaction was loud and angry. The New York Times reported that General Motors distributed an internal memo banning the use of the shorthand term "Chevy" in order to "present a consistent brand message." As a part of the new policy, any employees caught saying "Chevy" instead of "Chevrolet" are expected to toss a quarter in the company swear jar. The Times caught wind of the policy change after receiving a copy of a memo from a "disbelieving" employee. But before GM could reassure car buffs that this was a "poorly worded" memo--the Internet went mad:
- Are You Kidding?! pleads Vince Veneziani at Business Insider: "This is silly and pointless, and screams 'marketing consultants are spending too much tax money.'" Frank James at NPR adds "It does seem odd that GM would try to force Chevrolet back into the psyches of American consumers especially when Chevy is a huge brand already."
- A Swear Jar, Really? Rupal Parekh at Ad Age writes: "GM's gonna need a lot of cans to collect all them coins. Its own Twitter page says 'Talking Chevy One Tweet at a Time'; it has sponsored links on Google driving folks to the website by calling it 'The Official Chevy Site'; and clearly so many people simply type in the URL chevy.com that it currently redirects to the full brand name."
- This Is Just Bad Marketing, writes Ann Althouse: "If Coke had to pick one name for its product would it pick Coke or Coca-Cola? It would pick Coke, so why doesn't G.M. tell its employees to stop saying Chevrolet? The longer, Frenchier word is preferable to the very American nickname?"
- I'm Going Ballistic Matthew DeBord at The Big Money pretty much loses it:
Good god. As in, WTF is Chevy (Chevy Chevy Chevy Chevy! CHEVY!! CHEVY!!! C H E V Y C-H-E-V-Y see aych eee vee why YVEHC ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!) thinking? One way to "present a consistent brand message" is to ... know the dang brand! I mean, I don't know a single person on planet Earth who says "Chevrolet." Or would want to. And I write about the car business for a living.