Fearing Doomsday? Just Buy an ETAP!

Apparently, an unsinkable boat is all you’ll need to survive doomsday. Did somebody say natural selection?

A Belgian brand’s website links to doomsday forecasts that say its brand is one of two ways to survive 2012’s Armageddon.

ETAP Yachting, the Belgian sailboat manufacturer, is now using a novel approach to marketing its “unsinkable” sailboats — the forecasted apocalypse of December 21, 2012. The company’s website links to a video by Patrick Geryl, a Belgian author and doomsday forecaster, who says the earth’s magnetic field should reverse around the time the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Geryl said the end of the world will include nuclear meltdowns, volcanic eruptions, and flooding of “pure unimaginable horror”.
Geryl suggests that people either take to mountains in South Africa or buy an ETAP yacht. “ETAP is the only producer in the world of comfortable, unsinkable yachts,” Geryl wrote in his 2007 book, How to Survive 2012.

Geryl, who lives in Antwerp, Belgium, told BusinessWeek.com that he hasn’t been compensated for promoting the ETAP brand. “I only do it because they are the best and there are no alternatives,” he told the website. “This is for the survival of humanity.”

Toni De Pape, managing director of MIC Industries, which owns the ETAP brand, told the news site that he saw nothing unusual about featuring all ETAP endorsements on its website. He said it was not MIC’s intention to make Geryl the new unofficial spokesperson for ETAP, but added that “whatever helps our brand is OK with us.”

ETAP, while providing a link to Geryl’s video tribute to the yacht brand on its website, moved to distance itself, at least a bit, from the message.

“Etap yachting takes no responsibility for any publications made by third parties and has no direct connection to publications about Survive 2012,” it put on the website.

ETAP, which had a decent following in Europe and North America, was acquired by German shipyard Dehler in 2008, but went bankrupt eight months later. MIC purchased the ETAP assets in March 2009, but former brokers in the UK and US have yet to see any new boats come from Belgium.

For the complete story, go to www.ibinews.com.

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