Elon Musk considers Tesla ads to counter media bias


Elon Musk considers Tesla ads to counter media bias: Elon Musk has stated that he is considering running advertisements for Tesla, which is against the current marketing policy of the company, in order to combat what Musk considers to be media bias against Tesla.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has been famously quoted over the years as saying that he despises advertising. He stated that Tesla does not pay or provide discounts for celebrities to drive its cars and that the automobile manufacturer does not pay to advertise, but there have been instances in the past where an exception was made.

Instead, Musk claims that Tesla invests the money that would have been spent by other automakers on advertising towards the development of new products:

Tesla does not advertise or pay for endorsements. Instead, we invest that money in improving the quality of the product.

The CEO even went as far as to suggest that the mainstream media does not like him or Tesla since the media does not buy advertising from either of those entities.

Now, in a new interview, Musk suggests that Tesla may begin advertising in order to combat this perceived media bias:

Perhaps we should advertise because regular news outlets are unlikely to publish critical articles about the car industry. This is because the automotive industry is one of the most lucrative advertising niches for traditional news outlets. Tesla is essentially open for business. If they publish a critical article about General Motors in the same publication as a General Motors advertisement, it’s a fair bet that marketing executives from General Motors will give them a call and ask why they did that. Why did you do that? The next year, we will not be investing any money into your publication.

Musk indicated that Tesla may begin advertising in order to avoid bias, but doing so is not a priority at this time because the company is seeing strong demand that significantly outpaces its production capacity.

The opinion of Electrek.

Musk is not entirely incorrect. There are so many other elements at play, but I am confident that the lack of promotion on Tesla’s part is at least part of the problem with the way the media treats the company.

First and foremost, Musk has developed a tendency to lump all bad coverage into the same category: those who have ulterior motives towards him or Tesla. He does this because he believes these people are trying to bring him or Tesla down. This presents an issue due to the fact that there are genuine worries regarding Tesla and its behavior, which do merit unfavorable publicity. Let’s not lose sight of that for a second.

I agree with Musk that there is some unfair unfavorable publicity about Tesla in the media, but I don’t think it’s all purposeful. Now, to Musk’s point: Incompetence is largely to blame for much of it.

If he desires to see improved coverage of Tesla in the media, the first step he should take is to form a new public relations team. When Tesla used to have a PR team, I’m aware that the company was subjected to biassed press; nonetheless, the team was always severely understaffed. The level of accuracy of the information that is reported about Tesla in the media might be improved and coverage corrected if Tesla had a powerful public relations staff. It is impossible to achieve perfection, but it would unquestionably be an improvement over the current situation.

In my opinion, this strategy would be more beneficial than increasing the advertising budget, which would be problematic if the primary objective was to decrease the amount of unfavorable media. You will need to spend money directly with newspapers that you believe cover you unjustly since you do not spend money with them in order to remedy this situation. Do you truly wish to encourage behavior like that by giving a reward?