Just a note on Ford: The Ford Motor Company’s statements–answering a Detroit News columnist’s report that it had “pulled” its anti-bailout ad “in response to White House questions”–do not, in fact, deny that there were White House questions. Ford declares
We simply don’t make advertising decisions made on pressure – political or otherwise
which doesn’t say there wasn’t pressure, only that it wasn’t the basis for any decision. Ford also says
the ad ran as part of a planned rotation and continues to run online
P.S.: Poor Ford. They don’t go broke like their rivals. Then Obama White House props up and promotes those rivals. They try to point out their relative independence in an ad,** which then risks turning the Obama White House into an actual enemy. But when they pull the ad it only reinforces the point that they have to suck up to the Obama White House. Corporatism’s a bitch. ..
P.P.S.: The Trademark Contrarian view, of course, is that by pulling the ad Ford intentionally created a controversy that gave their ’we weren’t bailed out’ pitch more prominence, just when the ad was naturally losing its impact. Do you think they’re that smart? …
If Obama’s White House aides were smart, on the other hand, they’d have Obama publicly encourage
Ford to run the ad, using the incident to make the point that they don’t
try to muscle businesses into toeing the line, Putin-style. But then this is the Obama White House, which is nothing if not plodding and unimaginative. Even branded Friend of Barack Jon Alter cites a “creativity gap.”
Just when you think they’re going to zig, they zig …
** — There’s nothing contradictory in Ford’s a) having supported the bailout (to preserve the auto supply chain) but also b) wanting credit for not needing the bailout. ….