Morris Garages Philippines (MG) has started off 2018 embroiled in a bit of controversy. In a Facebook post on January 3, the Chinese-owned British carmaker posted a photo of its newest dealership in Makati. While the image itself doesn't raise any eyebrows, it was the caption that got people’s attention. It reads: “Only for the young. If you're 40 and above, please buy other brands.”
And to drive home the point that this is a coordinated marketing push, not just a random caption from a social media manager, a print ad saying the same message also came out in a newspaper.
Understandably, the post got more than a few irate reactions from netizens, especially from those who were born before 1980. We reached out to MG Philippines CEO Morgan Say to get his take on the issue. This is what he told us via text message:
"Without any intent to offend anyone, we prefer to market MG cars to the younger/millennial generation. The MG brand image we are building on is to manage its client base to those who are still dynamic and innovative in their way of life and thinking. We are not after volume selling but for advising the old-fashion(ed) generation that this is not the car brand for them. It may sound offensive if people are sensitive, and we sincerely apologize for that. However, we hope that people will respect our direction to be selective and exclusive with our client preference.”
We got curious about that last part regarding exclusivity. Does this mean that people over 40 can't visit MG's showrooms? "Of course, we welcome anyone who may be interested with MG. Everyone is free to visit the showrooms," Say clarified.
What do you guys think about MG's post and subsequent explanation? Let us know in the comments.