Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A German political scandal

In case this has not been reported in English, Germany's Health Minister flew down to Spain and had her chauffeur drive her Mercedes down after her. She was basically on vacation but managed to set up a few public speeches to make the whole thing look like a business trip. According to a few reports, sending the chauffeur down in the armored car cost 9,300 euros.

All of this became public when the car was stolen and it turned out that the German government does not insure its cars because, apparently, cars are never stolen in Germany, and German politicians never drive to Spain.

Anyway, I am basically writing all of this so that I can break the law myself by posting the image to the left from the website of a European rental car service, which has come up with a rather brilliant advertising scheme: put up the picture of the German Health Minister along with the price of the cheapest car per day (including "theft insurance"). In other words, our German politician could have had a car for 29 euros a day rather than for 9,300 for the whole trip.

I have rented cars from that company before, and I never got anything for less than 80 euros a day, and none of the cars I had were armored, but I'm sure they would cut a special deal for such an important person. Apparently, the German politician did not break any rules; she will simply take the kilometers from this trip off of her overall kilometers, and deduct the amount from her personal income.

Anyway, now the rental car company gets to sue me for using their intellectual property -- or do I get to sue them for using their advertising?


  1. Yes, I was tempted by that picture, which has already been pinched by the Im Namen des Volkers blog. But I can't see you being sued, Craig - this is more like viral advertising. I can't remember what I paid in England, but I know it's cheaper if you order it together with a flight.

  2. Well, if a judge can do it, at least I know who to turn to if they ever come after me...

    Anyway, the car has been found: