L.A. TV Station Gives Over Prime-Time Newscast To Ford Advertorial

Illustration for article titled L.A. TV Station Gives Over Prime-Time Newscast To Ford Advertorial

Toyota can't buy good coverage this week, but Ford has apparently come pretty close. KTLA-TV in Los Angeles ran a three-part blue oval fellatio fest news feature shortly before airing the Ford-produced documentary "The New American Road."

According to station executives, Ford didn't pay for the flattering segments, just the hour-long documentary. KTLA's efforts, dubbed "The View From the Driver's Seat," aired over the course of three nights immediately prior to Dearborn's self-congratulating piece. Sure, some of the footage in the "news" program came from Ford; there's nothing wrong with that. And maybe it was a mouthpiece for Ford executives and included no news value or reasoned evaluation of other automakers. Who hasn't been there before?

No, the line was crossed elsewhere: KTLA has admitted that it expressed interest in doing the piece to Ford while the automaker was in talks to buy air time for its documentary. We can't blame Ford's marketing team for trying to buy positive coverage. We can, however, blame anyone who agrees to sell it to them.


If you're curious, this is the "documentary" that Ford produced. If you don't have time to watch it, you're not missing much — just imagine what Leni Riefenstahl could have done with Final Cut Pro and a bunch of Ford product B-roll.

Dearborn has officially denied requesting or compensating for KTLA's efforts. The key word there is "request" — no one turned down the offer after it was made. Why would they? Here's the official line:

Ford Statement On News Series
At the request of our dealers, Ford collaborated to create the documentary "The New American Road" to share our transformation story. Ford dealers across the country have partnered to air this show in their local markets. While Ford provided funding for the airing of this program in Los Angeles, we did not request nor compensate KTLA for the three part series entitled "The View From the Driver's Seat."


[LA Times]

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