Editor's Comment

How does the media effect industry representation?

Published:  16 July, 2014

There has been a lot of talk recently about the new advert from a price comparison website, depicting two technicians looking over a car and giving their opinion on its insurance status. Most believe the advert paints a poor image of the independent industry.

To be honest I'm not so sure, the people in the advert are shown as experts and one being able to tell the mileage of a vehicle just by smelling the oil on the dipstick backs this up. True the two technicians are not using diagnostic equipment but I have seen a lot worse. Earlier this year Kia used its twitter account (written as though it is a car speaking) to convince drivers to take their vehicles to a dealer, using the phrase "don't let cowboys work on me". We also have the issue of the television soaps and how viewers perceive the industry through representation in them. I call this the Phil Mitchell effect.

Wouldn't it be nice to hear Tyrone Dobbs ask for a day off to go to an IMI training course, or Jay Mitchell to talk about new diagnostic equipment? For that matter, how many people have fallen into Phil Mitchell's workshop pit? Isn't it about time he looked at a lift from a health and safety point of view?

The problem is that these stories do not suit the scriptwriters of the television programs or the advertisers, so it is up to the industry itself to say that it is not like that. Licencing is one way although it is not the solution right now, so shouting about qualifications, training undertaken and work you can do is key. Represent yourselves and even use the fictional world as a lever to a conversation. The two technicians in the insurance advert are claimed to be experts in what they do, so advertise yourself and your business as the true experts.


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