UPDATE: Hertz got in touch. The company confirmed it has nothing to do with persuading Facebook members to write such cheeky status updates.
An official says:
"As a leader car rental company we focus on much meaningful messaging to our fans and followers through social media channels. We are falsely credited on those comments. We have implemented social media policy and guidelines for our teams and agencies to comply with. We believe that these comments on Facebook may have innocently started by someone with no authorization."
It has now attempted to contact the Facebook member who posted the original status update.
If this was a subtle way of getting people to talk about car rental giant Hertz in social media, then it deserves plenty of praise - we're not so sure though.
Two weeks ago, a Facebook member posted a simple status update on his wall:
It took a few days, but then dozens of people started repeating the phrase in their status updates...
...with changes to the description here and there and various uses of the obscenity :)
But while the joke wears thin pretty quickly, perhaps the impact does not.
Hopefully users have not mis-read the status updates and presumed a Hertz vehicle ran over their friends - but the association of words "hire car" and "hertz" may stick in the memory, such can be the subtlety of marketing messages.
Now the question is whether a brave social media agency has put the idea to Hertz and seeded some friendly folk around Facebook to get involved.
Not so sure about that.
Hertz, which has a presence in social media with two Twitterprofiles and a Facebook page, has now responded to requests for comment [see above].
It must be noted, however, that car hire companies are pushing the boundaries of marketing stunts, so perhaps the "Bloody Hertz" line is a coordinated effort.
As Argus Car Hire mentioned in November 2010, German division of car firm Sixt decided it would be fun to hijack a nuclear waste transport protest by unfurling a banner of their own, claiming "Stop expensive transports. Rent vans and trucks from Sixt!"