Tempest. No Teapot.

According to a number of reports, including this one, a memo went out to Chevrolet employees at HQ on Tuesday advising them that when communicating to the public they should use the whole name for the brand, not the nickname.

According to a number of reports, including this one, a memo went out to Chevrolet employees at HQ on Tuesday advising them that when communicating to the public they should use the whole name for the brand, not the nickname. This has caused all manner of consternation to the extent that Chevy—er, Chevrolet—sent out a statement that reads, in part:

We love Chevy. In no way are we discouraging customers or fans from using the name. We deeply appreciate the emotional connections that millions of people have for Chevrolet and its products.

In global markets, we are establishing a significant presence for Chevrolet, and need to move toward a consistent brand name for advertising and marketing purposes. The memo in question was one step in that process.

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Given that General Motors is using the Chevrolet brand in places where it has had little or no presence (e.g., it is bringing the brand to Korea for the first time next year), it is probably useful if all of the documents turned out by the corporation uses the proper name.

So what’s the big deal?

No one is going to stop you from calling a Chevrolet a Chevy (unless, of course, you work there and have to write something about the brand).

Given the level of consternation this is engendering (while writing this I had an email pop up on my screen from Advertising Age with the subject line: “Poll: Is GM wise to try to kill Chevy nickname?”), I’m guessing they’ve got some really good marketing over at Chevy right now.