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Ford Commercial Faces Criticism From Marketers

  • NY Times, Thursday, January 26, 2006 11 AM

Ford Motor Company is not winning unanimous praise for a bold television commercial that began airing in selected markets yesterday.  Just two days after announcing that it was planning to shutter 14 U.S. factories and lay off up to 30,000 employees over the next six years, the ad, featuring company CEO Bill Ford, acknowledges that Ford Motor has faced economic challenges.  In the 30-second spot, Bill Ford vaguely acknowledges his company's troubles and asserts that the automaker "is determined to retake the American roadway."  Clive Cajet, the brand-image consultant, says of the commercial, "I don't think people care about a corporation so much as they care about the car they drive. Consumers want to hear about the brand....  Focusing on [Ford's] problems sounds defensive." Others echoed Cajet's thoughts.  Ford's COO, Anne Stevens, defended the commercial. "We recognize the reality of the marketplace.  We're fighting to win....  This is not the time to hide."  The ad, titled "Rebirth," will appear nationally and in some selected markets, including New York, Detroit, and Washington, for the next three months, reports The Times.





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