“The laughing Lotus Louts; Pair vandalise sports car and then put film on MySpace!” screams the headline in the Evening Standard. The story is about two hooligans – or as one blogger colourfully describes them – “retarded knob jockeys”, who filmed themselves wrecking a £30,000 Lotus Elise parked in a London street then posting the film on MySpace last month. Allegedly, the clip has instigated a nationwide hunt for the perpetrators as well as a huge amount of brand chatter.
I am suspicious. It feels like a clever viral stunt created by the car company The story has generated coverage about the brand across traditional media and the blogosphere. Arguably, it is a gainful promo, making loads of noise and cheaply executed to great effect. The most expensive part would have been to replace the soft-top Lotus Elise roof. If the crime were real, surely the owner would have put a call into the local fuzz. The Met police said they had not received any reports of damage to a Lotus and could find no record of the alleged vandals’ names. If someone trashed my motor, I would have called the plod.