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03 June

Western Group of Motoring Writers' PR Driving Day at Castle Combe Circuit, Chippenham (by invitation only)


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From the chair: December 2016

publication date: Dec 1, 2016
author/source: Robin Roberts

As autumn turns to winter it becomes increasingly apparent we reap what we sow.

The traditional “fall” in the 21st century is now a time when we find the television contests are being harvested; ‘celebrities’ are ejected from a ‘jungle’, it’s the last waltz for unlikely hoofers on Strictly and, as we thought, it cannot come too soon for many who have the exit-factor.

Far less of a public show is made of the numerous automotive polls and competitions to find the best in a particular field but the number of contests and awards is far greater than pushed into our homes through the haunted fish tank.

Their proliferation can diminish the worthiness of each one on its own, creating the So What Factor and some really can be predicted with greater accuracy than you might think.

In the automotive media, the Guild of Motoring Writers’ annual awards have a long history and are highly respected but nevertheless they have never made it onto a tv channel to my knowledge although what they celebrate and recognise is a very exciting subject and deserves a wider public show.

Think of the Booker Prize, BAFTA, Emmy, Oscars and Sony awards all rolled into one event and you have the GoMW Awards. The breadth and depth of the awards is immense, the public recognition miniscule.

We love our motoring television programmes and presenters, some say more than others, and buy huge numbers of books and magazines on a truly mind-boggling range of topics within the automotive sector, often beautifully illustrated with images which fulfill that often overused description of iconic.

So why doesn’t the Gommies as I will call them get that coverage?

I think it’s down to public awareness. The print, television and radio outlets could do more to encourage their users to vote for their writers or broadcasters, social media could be used to churn votes and most importantly there could be an element of a public vote combined with a judges’ shortlist. Maybe it could be  widened to include non-Gommy members as well. 

True, it needs a major sponsor to headline the Gommies but there are enough financial institutions making money out of car sales to justify support.

It’s new television at a time when that industry is looking a bit tired and in need of some seed corn.


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