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Public Relations, Topic of the Week COMM 2322

TOW: Spinning round and round and round…

For this week’s topic, I am going to discuss and talk (ramble?) about all the hoopla that surrounded Ford’s “Bailout” tv advertisement that came into every home in the United States.  First of all, watch the video below so that we’re all on the same page:

Shortly after that ad was released, it was ‘supposedly’ reported that the US Government pressured Ford into taking that ad off the air.  This is where it gets a little tricky.  Ford denied that the government pressured them, saying:

“For those asking, the ad ran as part of a planned rotation and continues to run online. It contains the unscripted comments of a Ford owner. We supported emergency government support for our competitors and continue to support the decisions we made.”

Let me address a couple things.  Assuming the suits up in Washington made Ford pull the advertisement; are they allowed to do that?  Last I checked, I didn’t think so.  I’m not going to get into politics too much, but if you look at it from the White House’s point of view, I can’t imagine them spinning this in a positive light in the media.  President Obama put his neck on the line with his famous “Bailout” plan to try to jump-start the economy, particularly the automobile industry.

But is it their place to do something like that?  As in, are they allowed to do that?  In my opinion, no.

Now let’s look at it from Ford’ perspective.  I have a couple questions for Ford as well; were they aware that that ad in particular can come off as propaganda?  It can, especially since you see the actor in the commercial openly criticizing Obama’s bailout plan.

It’s all pretty complicated.  Personally, I think both Ford and the White House were both out of line.  Ford could have put out less polarizing tv advertisements, and it’s definitely not Washington’s job to tell folks what they can and can’t put on the television.



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