As I noted in the comments of this morning’s piece on the Ford Bailout ad controversy, if the White House did contact Ford about the ad and the company did take down the video in response to the pressure, it certainly wouldn’t admit as much. After all, the whole point of caving to White House pressure would be to defuse, not inflame, a political standoff. And sure enough, one hour ago, Ford reposted the video (currently with around 300 views) and shared it on its Facebook account. Ford says the ad “ran as part of a planned rotation and continues to run online,” predictably avoiding any reference to reports of White House concern. And though the low view count proves that Ford took down, then reposted the video, a Youtube message to the uploader of what earlier today was the only remaining version on Youtube reveals that mainstream media news reporters were unable to find other copies of the ad.
The White House has not yet commented on the situation, but hit the jump for more details on Ford’s curious response…
UPDATE: Ford’s Craig Daitch has responded in the comments at Autoblog, saying
Regarding the ad, as you know it contains unscripted comments from a Ford owner and is part of a series featuring customers telling their story and views about Ford and our products. The ad has stopped running as part of its previously planned rotation. We simply don’t make advertising decisions made on pressure – political or otherwise. The ad cycled out of rotation, as we do with all ads in this series, and will continue showcasing our Drive One testimonials, just like those that preceeded it.
Regarding the thread comments on bail out support, we did back emergency government support for our competitors in 2008 and 2009 and continue to support the decisions we made. Had that support not been provided, a number of suppliers could have been negatively affected, which would have had an equally negative impact on our business.
Ford Motor Company stands by its products, its customers, and our marketing. We thank those who stand with us.
Ford Motor Company
Still no word on why the ad disappeared from Youtube today, only to reappear hours later as if nothing had happened. Perhaps, like the phonecall from the White House, these are all simply unconnected coincidences…