NLPC: GM Buying PR, Awards For CEO Mary Barra

nlpc gm buying pr awards for ceo mary barra

Since becoming General Motors CEO last January, Mary Barra has netted a few awards for herself, something the National Legal Policy Center sees troubling.

According to Autoblog, the organization believes the numerous awards bestowed upon Barra are a sign that the automaker is buying positive publicity amid its long slog through 2014 after the recalls began in February.

Of note are the awards where GM made a monetary contribution — either through underwriting or donations — to the organizations and events where such things were to occur, like the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s “The Appeal of Conscience” award bestowed upon Barra in 2014 for “encouraging a standard in which corporate America and global corporations accept responsibility.” There, GM paid $100,000 to underwrite the event, which occurred months after the automaker was taken to the woodshed over its handling of events that led to the February 2014 ignition recall crisis.

Should said contributions be linked to the awards won that year, the NLPC says both the automaker and the charities benefiting from GM’s contributions would find themselves in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. Per president Peter Flaherty:

If the campaign is designed not only to enhance GM’s image with the public, but also to strengthen Ms. Barra’s position within the company, it is inappropriate because it is being conducted with corporate assets.

Flaherty hopes GM will disclose their charitable given voluntarily, but if not, he says his organization will file a shareholder resolution to force the issue during the automaker’s annual meeting in June.

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Jan 22, 2015

    As much as you want to hate GM for all their atrocities, you can't bring yourself to hate her, let alone punch her in the face. GM put the right person in the #1 spot. She's got the credentials, but it was a casting decision more than anything else.

    • Highdesertcat Highdesertcat on Jan 22, 2015

      "GM put the right person in the #1 spot" As time goes on, it becomes more and more clear that this was a strategic move on the part of GM's management and BoD. Imagine if some gnarly white dude had to go before Congress to explain GM's deadly products. Congress would treat him the way they treated Mr. Toyoda during those hearings on the trumped up SUA allegations. OTOH, Ms Barra is treated by everyone as if she inherited a bad situation and bad things happen to good people. The double standard is alive and well in the US of A.

  • RHD RHD on Jan 22, 2015

    This is analagous to going to the trophy shop and having a large "1st Place" trophy made up with your name inscribed on it.

  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
  • FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.