April Fools' fail: Volkswagen rebrand joke backfires, sparking criticism
CA, 01 Apr 2021
Ahead of April Fools' Day, the German automaker Volkswagen announced it was rebranding as "Voltswagen" as it focuses more on electric vehicles. Then it reversed course on the name change, saying it was just a joke, after some called out the 'bad marketing practice.'
Volkswagen’s intentionally fake news release, highly unusual for a major public company, coincides with its efforts to repair its image as it tries to recover from a 2015 scandal in which it cheated on government emissions tests and allowed diesel-powered vehicles to illegally pollute the air.
As Mike Armstrong explains, the prank is generated more criticism than laughter.
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