Digital communications agency Lateral has created The Hybrid Debate, an online forum to discuss the potential impact of hybrid cars on wider society. This open, uncensored debate is sponsored by Lexus and launches on the 12th December. Bloggers are encouraged to discuss the articles in their own blogs and add their comments to postings from a panel of expert contributors that includes Sir Bob Geldof, Joanna Yarrow, Neil Spiller and Richard Scase.

The Hybrid Debate is designed encourages people to consider how a mass uptake of hybrid cars could impact on subject areas not immediately associated with the automotive sector, such as our dependence on the Middle East for oil and the way we design our buildings and cities.

“The challenge was to take a 360 degree view and imagine where hybrid technology might take us without getting too bogged down in technical detail. We were delighted to bring on board a panel with such a wide range of experience who embraced the subject matter and came up with some intelligent and insightful thoughts and predictions.” Said Lateral’s Strategy Director Douglas Smith

Matt Button is CRM & Database Marketing Manager, Lexus (GB) and chose Lateral for this project over several other agencies: “We’d originally considered a viral campaign but Lateral’s idea really impressed us and the idea of a serious debate felt more appropriate for our target audience. Given the changing nature of relationships between brands and their consumers we wanted to allow the audience to debate the subject and create a space for an open discussion.”

To mark the official launch of The Hybrid Debate, new contributors have been added to the site, including Sir Bob Geldof who discusses the global impact of increased car ownership in developing countries, changing attitudes to environmental issues and the London congestion charge.

The Hybrid Debate also includes written content from five specialist contributors and some visual depictions of a “hybrid London” to accompany Professor Neil Spiller’s articles about the impact of cleaner cars on urban design.

The site can be found at www.thehybriddebate.com.