Earlier today, The Detroit News triggered a righteous dustup when it reported that Ford had pulled this ad featuring criticism of the federal auto bailouts under White House pressure. But Ford says it's not the case — and put the ad back on the Internet.
The spot, part of a series where regular people are gently ambushed by a pack of actors pretending to be
zombie corporate shills
auto journalists strangely curious about a Ford customer's feelings. Customer Chris says he "wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government" and that "I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own."
Chris is of course referring to the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts, not the $5.9 billion in manufacturing loans Ford took, or the $15.9 billion in short-term credit granted Ford by the Federal Reserve.
The News' Danny Howes says Ford pulled the ad off the air after "individuals inside the White House" questioned whether the ads were denigrating bailouts that Ford had backed. After a day of political pelting, Ford responded via Facebook:
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.
Sorry Chris, but just because Ford broadcast your opinions to millions of people doesn't mean it agrees with them.