Monday, November 16, 2009

Shell V-power and journalism

Being not disinterested in the world of motoring journalism, I was intrigued the other day to find what, at first sight, appeared to be a competition for aspiring journalists, jointly organised by Shell and Auto Express magazine.*

Sounds good, I thought.

But how, exactly, would the applicants demonstrate their journalistic flair and investigative powers to the competition judges? Well, here's how:

Please now share your thoughts in a written statement of 75 words or fewer in response to the question: "What do you think about Shell V-Power and the difference it makes to you and your car?"

What I like about this is the brazen assumption that there really is no difference at all between a journalist and a PR or press officer. Personally speaking, I was hoping to sell my soul after 5 years of fruitless struggle in journalism, not cave-in at the very outset.

Still, have to be in it to win it, I suppose, so here goes:

As the latest premium brand of fuel from the type of company which Robert Mugabe refuses to deal with on ethical grounds, Shell V-power is designed to fool affluent and the poorly-informed Western motorists, that a higher octane 'quality' will improve power, irrespective of an engine's compression ratio. Manufactured from the pituitary glands of Ugandan infants, and blended with the tears of Filipino child prostitutes, Shell V-power is now able to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere, and is increasingly used as a cure for syphilis and pancreatic cancer.

I look forward to my trip to Shell Global Solutions in Thornton, Cheshire.

*Many thanks to Patrick's Motorsports Ramblings for this link.


Bob said...

Did you send this entry to participate in the contest?

And stop shouting at Bryan. It is very impolite.

Jonaldinho said...

Dear Dr McCabe.

We would like to thank you for your contrebution to our Shell V-Power Press Factor compitition.

Althouh your artickle was of a high standard and contained a combination of factuel informatiun and corporat placement, we are sorry to inform you that we will not be abel to forward it to our grand finle because your artickle exseeded the number of words permetted in the compitition rules.

We could sugest you try submitting to The Sun newspaper, but then again maybe not. For fourty years,they have opted to educaite our nation with pictures, not words, and who do not alow facts to get in the way of a good story.

Good luck in your jornalistic career!

Gordon McCabe said...

Sadly, I think I just missed the closing date, as well as exceeding the word count.

Nick Caulfield said...

I had a look at the "entries so far" section and it's pretty nauseating


While I salute your valid points about Shell's contempt for journalism, I can't be too rude about the fuel itself (apart from the crap name of course).

The engine in my car is designed for higher octane petrol. I do keep an eye on the mpg and as far as I can work out, the difference in fuel economy between the premium and regular petrol appears to be enough to save me money if I buy the premium.

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Gordon McCabe said...

Ha, yes, I also looked with some disdain at the entries so far! And I believe that modern electronic engine management systems can indeed retard the ignition to take advantage of high octane ratings.

But I'm sure the cheque from Shell is also on its way! :-)