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Toyota Turns to Social Media In Recall Campaign

Toyota, attempting to put the brakes on the torrent of bad news coming about its cars, is expanding its "transparent" marketing campaign to social media.

As you can imagine, Toyota and its competitors are buying up every search term they can find related to the recall issue. But as Clickz is reporting, Toyota's also getting aggressive in social media - including a Digg-based consumer Q&A session with US Toyota president Jim Lentz today at 2 PM PST/5 PM EST.

Questions are voted on, and include "What do you drive," "When will Toyota start making hybrid cars that aren't ugly as sin," and some doozies like "I was a General Manager of one of your largest dealerships in the US. I was aware that this problem dates back to 2004. In fact, there was a death involved in a sudden acceleration incident at an Atlantic City Hotel in a Camry that our dealership sold. At this point is Toyota's position going to change as to the dates involved?"

The brand's Twitter and Facebook pages point consumers to a dedicated microsite about the recall. And the brand is using YouTube to do the same.

My two cents? Whether the campaign - and product improvements - inspire renewed consumer trust in the brand remains to be seen. But while the brand's tagline has a certain poignancy in this crisis, "Moving Forward" is an unfortunate tagline for a brand best by accelerator issues. It may be time for a new one.

You'll want to read all about Toyota's social media moves, here.

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