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June 29, 2006

What is Ford Up To?

Recently, John Keehler posted on his RandomCulture blog about The Ford "Bold Moves" campaign, which incorporates video documentaries, "expert" commentary, and user talkback. In one of the sidebars, Ford uses a Yahoo! news engine to deliver what's happening in the news at this very moment.

The big news, at this time, is S&P's decision to downgrade Ford's credit rating once again further down into "junk" status.

Ouch.

That aside, I stand amazed at this decision. They are publishing praise as well as highly critical comments. People apparently feel very passionately about American ingenuity, one way or the other, and (if there is a consensus) the consensus seems to be that people want Ford to succeed, but they don't have faith in their quality, designs, or practicality.

I don't think having them watch a documentary is going to change that view.

But maybe I'm wrong. This is certainly generating a lot of attention, and the decision to allow users to lambaste Ford may give the Detroit company a chance to hear the straight scoop from the consumers, unfiltered by the marketing yes-men that they may fear surrounds them. If that is their true goal (and that's a big "if") then I would be very impressed.

However, after a couple of decades of watching Detroit using our guilt and government regulations to prevent us from buying the available less expensive, higher quality imports, I would also be very surprised. - Cam Beck

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