Autoblog: Ford-Sponsored Las Vegas Junket

autoblog ford sponsored las vegas junket

Again, TTAC is not against junketing per se. Although invitations to manufacturer-sponsored events rarely cross our e-transom (for some unfathomable reason), we have tested cars on the carmakers' dime. All we ask is that automotive publications specifically declare any and all financial contributions towards any given editorial content, within eyesight of the relevant text. In other words, tell readers/viewers if you're drinking the corporate Kool-Aid. OK, now, you may recall that I recently wrote an editorial taking Ford to task for their new "Drive One" campaign. So it was with some interest that I read today's Autoblog post on that very subject. Scribe Jeremy Korzeniewski couldn't have been more an enthusiastic cheerleader if he'd waved pom-poms. "After spending a few days with Ford's main-marketing-man Jim Farley and his team, we can truly say that the excitement surrounding the company's new Drive One marketing strategy is palpable." Uh-oh. "They let us tag along so we could see what all the fuss is about, and the dealers we spoke to seemed pretty pumped about Drive One and felt that Farley's new team at Ford was finally listening to them and doing something with their input. Keep reading to find out what else we heard in Sin City." Or don't. But either way, somehow I don't think AOL picked-up the tab for this bit of reportage. We ask Autoblog to either categorically deny this logical assumption or add a suitable disclaimer at the bottom of their post.

UPDATE: Autoblog has added a disclaimer. We thank them for their rapid and appropriate response, and hope that full disclosure will become the website's standard policy.

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2 of 11 comments
  • Jaje Jaje on Apr 16, 2008

    Getting perks from the manufacturer while reviewing their products is common...however you need to state that upfront - and not when someone calls you on it.

  • Lewissalem Lewissalem on Apr 16, 2008

    I'm still a regular autoblog reader, however, their podcasts have become unstructured, and their journalistic integrity fuzzy. The podcasts are great, except now they have trended towards talking about what junket they went on, what expensive car their driving, etc. As automotive companies better realize the power of the internet, I foresee this will only get worse. I understand that journalists deserve to make money, however, how can we really relate as readers when you are take, take, taking? How can you be objective?

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.