The Ford anti-bailout commercial

I really like Ford’s ad campaign featuring average buyers as celebrities at a news conference. It’s really effective from a marketing standpoint. But the ad featuring “Chris” really caught my attention:

Chris praised his F-150 in the ad and commended Ford for not taking bailout money. The fact that Chris turns out to be an average guy with a real story—not just an actor—makes it even better. U.S. carmakers typically take aim at other manufacturers, not each other. The ad apparently struck a chord with lots of viewers, and a nerve in the Obama administration.

According to Detroit News reporter Daniel Howes, a few calls from the White House prompted Ford to pull the ad. This is officially denied by both parties, but apparently acknowledged privately by several executives at Ford.

Ford claims the ad is simply being removed from the rotation like other ads, but this explanation is a little weak considering the positive attention it has brought to the company. Besides, Ford initially pulled the ad from youtube as well and then reloaded it, suggesting that there’s more to the story than their public statement suggests. Chris has even released his own video on youtube:

If you didn’t think the White House would stop at nothing to run the U.S. auto industry for union benefit, you haven’t been paying close attention. Whether it’s cash for clunkers, CAFE standard changes, Chevy Volt subsidies, tax deals for GM’s alternative energy R&D, or the DOT’s Ray LaHood persecuting Toyota at taxpayer expense, this administration is committed to GM’s “success” at all cost. Ford’s success without bailout money has become a black eye to the administration; Ford must be brought in line.

Now it’s time for Ford to negotiate the next UAW deal. It’s not surprising that the GM contract is the starting point for negotiations. But the GM contract would have never even existed without a bailout. Its wages and benefits have been artificially inflated at taxpayer expense. Under the threat of a strike, Ford is being pressured to top GM’s contract without government support. This places Ford at a taxpayer-subsidized economic disadvantage.

The contract deal will be interesting to say the least because Ford must negotiate directly with the UAW and indirectly with the White House. Saving GM from its self-inflicted demise was not good enough. Sooner or later, Toyota, Ford and every other competitor must be cut down to size as well.

7 thoughts on “The Ford anti-bailout commercial

  1. Capitalism- Private ownership of the means of production, underlying a system in which organic market forces determine success or failure.

    Fascism- Private ownership of the means of production, underlying a system in which government controls shape the “success or failure” dynamic.

    Socialism- Government ownership of the means of production, creating a system in which government policy is the sole arbiter of success or failure.

    Which one fits the USA circa 1791 vs. 2011?

  2. Obama is facing reality now. When business feels too much pressure from government, it stops functioning. He is powerless to change this unless he backs off, and that’s not going to happen.

  3. Quit complaining about GM. They got government help and they paid their loans back. GM is making money again. Millions of jobs were saved. This is a government success story.

  4. LP is right. I’m an independent and I don’t like where the republicans are going. Obama has made some mistakes but he was right on GM and they should just admit it. Maybe Obama’s jobs plan isn’t perfect, but theres room for compromise. If the republicans could ask the rich to pay a little more we could turn this economy around. Are we really going to fire teachers and policemen because the republicans are too stubborn? Obama is doing the best he can and the republicans just want to play politics and screw him.

  5. LP- The facts are not on your side. GM has most certainly NOT paid back all their loans. As a matter of fact, the Obama administration told Chrysler they didn’t have to pay back a pretty hefty sum. The auto bailout fits into the “government success story” category about as well as Solyndra and Gunwalker.

    Indyman- The government can’t “ask” the rich to “pay a little more.” Why? Number 1: government is force. They make laws, with penalties for breaking them. They don’t make requests. And, more importantly, number 2: the top 1% of income earners in this country already pay about 40% of all Federal taxes. And that doesn’t include state and local income taxes, sales taxes, and property taaxes. There is only so much you can attempt to squeeze out of the producers before they cease producing. This is fundamental economics, and it’s not unique to America. When the risk vs. reward dynamic is artificially drained of “reward,” through government intervention, the risk-takers will begin to balk at taking that initial risk. This is exactly why unemployment stays above 15%. “Ask” those risk-takers to pay “just a little more”? It should surprise NO ONE when those stats go higher.
    Atlas will shrug.

  6. Indy man, that is crazy talk. Let me get this straight…the Republicans want to wreck the economy and hurt innocent people just to screw Obama? C’mon, man, that is not even a serious comment. You have a pretty twisted view of people if you think that way. By doing so, they wreck the economy for their friends, neighbors, family and self just to get some satisfaction out of beating Obama? Makes zero sense.

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