By on September 27, 2011

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.

Craig Daitch
Digital Communications
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…

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22 Comments on “Ford Restores Bailout Ad To Youtube, Calls Takedown Part Of “Planned Rotation”...”

  • avatar

    If you double down prepare to look twice as silly.

  • avatar

    The original article earlier today was along the lines of the White House “threatening” Ford through “asking” questions. If that was really the case then why did Ford bring it back (especially so quickly) if the White House implied “threats” were still there?
    It is possible to be coincidence rather than conspiracy.

    TTAC is a great site but I wouldn`t have thought you are sufficiently big enough to make this change – hence why I don`t subscribe to the theory that this was a conspiracy.

    • 0 avatar

      mike978, this ad was particularly damaging to Obama and Government Motors since Chrysler is now a division of a foreign company and no longer a player in politics.

      The ad just poured salt into the open would called ‘taxpayer funded bailout and nationalization’ which so many Americans opposed, when Bush did it and when Obama did it.

      What we see here is a face-saving measure for everyone involved; Ford gets to run their ad and calls it rotation; Obama’s minions get a reprieve from their screw-up putting pressure on Ford to remove the ad; and Obama tries to save or create his own job for the next term.

      • 0 avatar

        Cat, the ad was part of a marketing strategy to indicate the company’s apparent strengths, with a slap towards those who had to accept bailouts. Without revisionist history, you will note that all majors, suppliers, and bi-partisan politicians indicated the importance of avoiding such major failures in a fragile economy.

      • 0 avatar

        phxcoronado, I thought the marketing strategy was highly effective because it played into what the majority of tax paying Americans felt about bailing out failed auto makers, investment houses and mortgage banks.

        I also thought it was staged and scripted to achieve the desired message it wanted to get across. And, like many Americans, if I were to ever buy another domestic brand vehicle again, most likely it would be a Ford, for exactly the same reasons this guy gave in the ad.

        But for all the money we wasted on bail outs, hand outs and nationalization, we can only speculate that we would have been worse off without them. We’ll never know, because we are still in bad shape today and “another day older and deeper in debt”.

        Democrats and Libs want the tax payer to foot the bill for these ill-conceived selective live/die projects like the bail outs and Solyndra.

        Republicans prefer to see business and companies evolve and develop on its own without government interference.

        Where does that leave Independents like me? At the ballot box, voting our conscience.

        I anticipate that after the Holidays the economy will be even more fragile that it is today, to the point of it being brittle as more people will be handed their pink slips or given their walking papers.

        After one of the dealerships owned by my relatives was sold the first thing the new owners did was to fire the accountant, the bookkeeper, one receptionist and three sales staff.

        The name of the game is downsizing in an uncertain economy and I believe we’ll see a renewed commitment to downsizing in January 2012. Any ad from any automaker that hits home is going to help with sales, just like this Ford ad did. Highly effective and very appropriate.

  • avatar

    Mike, Obama or his employees asking questions about the ad is a lot more damaging to him than the ad itself, which was not that big of a deal. The quickest and safest way to defuse the situation once the story leaked is to say “oh, normal operating procedure, here it is again”. As if the normal rotation for these ads is two days. Everybody knows they bailed out GM. The idea that Obama is using his political power to protect GM from unpleasant advertising is far worse than an ad that mentions a fact that everyone already knows.

    • 0 avatar

      Is it standard operating procedure to swap out ads? It was up for more than 2 days – I don`t know Ford’s policy.
      Bottom line any communication from the White House was obviously not that threatening or the ad wouldn`t have come back.

      • 0 avatar

        Mike, it was supposed to be a secret non-threat threat. Like Vinnie the Nose coming to your business place and saying “Man, sure would suck if something happened to such a nice place.” If the media asked Vinnie the Nose about that comment, he’d deny it. Then he’d make sure that you denied it to (if you like your kneecaps in one piece).

        The threat (if it existed) is much more damaging than a stupid Ford ad on Youtube. It’s the kind of thing that Republicans could use to attack Obama as a socialist, bring up the bailout again, etc. Compared to that bringing the ad back to hush it up is nothing. Even if the ad was really brought down as part of normal business procedure and this is just some rumor, them putting it back up is designed to kill the story before it gets out of hand.

        On the ultra-conspiracy side, it’s possible that Ford leaked a fake story about the ad, pulled it, then put it back up in an effort to generate publicity. But I’m not that cynical.

  • avatar

    So, this same stuff has been all over the internets all day long, Autoblog, Jalopnik, Leftlane and TTAC. I’d say that the Ford PR people have hit a homer. As far as I know this commercial hasn’t played in the greater Detroit area, but thanks to this hub-bub they’ve reached a much bigger audience.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Me, I think the whole harrumphing from the WH makes them look weak, but these days, what doesn’t?

  • avatar

    The ad upset me more for the “I bought American” spin, given that a healthy part of Ford’s production is not in the USA at all. Very disingenuous ad…but then, when did the truth ever really matter in advertising?

  • avatar

    I think Greg is onto something.

    Ford PR saw the white House call as an opportunity, and took the new media for a little ride…

  • avatar

    Nothing to see here, move along

  • avatar

    Okay guys. Log time adimer and reader of TTAC. This article and comments made me sign up for posting.
    The article above, with supporting comments, smack of politics pure and simple. There are way too many suppositions, “ifs”, and “dids.”. If you continue this way then maybe it should be TTAC&C, the latter meaning commentary. Support with real news and facts, or when commentary, separate the two.

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    Jay Carney, is that you?

    But seriously, welcome to TTAC.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Ford ought to focus on advertising their product, rather than resorting to politics.

    Maybe it is out of desperation as GM grows away from them?

  • avatar

    Read this: Beyond belief.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      There is no 2nd bailout.
      GM gets precisely Zero benefit from this “responsibility fee”.
      It is disgusting that Breitbart publishes such BS trying to get at Obama by lying about GM. Like it or not, GM Co. doesn’t owe another dime. Return to taxpayers is contingent on sale of Treasury’s 500,000 shares.
      The author presents another distortion claiming that GM-UAW negotiations were a sham, though Ford actually agreed to identical 1% a year labor cost increase, and far more additional UAW jobs than GM. Mentioning the truth would defeat his argument.
      GM, Chrysler and very nearly Ford were victims of the financial crisis, not the causes. Worst case scenario for ultimate loss of taxpayer money is on the order of $11B, if the stock is sold prematurely. That is about 1.5% of total TARP funds and a whopping $36 per American. Since the top 10% pay 90% of taxes, that really is more like $3-$4 for 90% of Americans.

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