$50 Million to Redeem the Detroit 3's Image
Well, the answer is... “to beg” as three car guys seem to teach us. According to an article published by The Advertising Age, executives of Kelmenson, Davis & Associates, New York have spent their last year struggling to create a nonprofit domestic auto-industry forum that was going to teach Americans about Detroit's importance to this country's business and societal fabric with the hope of raising $50 million to redeem the image of Detroit's Big Three. Yet, so far, influential industry leader, dealer or lawmakers has been eager to supply them with the money.
Apparently, the greatest problem for them at the moment is the way they are perceived by general public, so the three executives started a collective campaign of high-style begging on behalf of General Motors Corp., Chrysler and Ford Motor Co.
The idea of searching money for advertising somewhere else belongs to Tony Kuhn , executive partner of the marketing advisory firm who insists in raising nation's awareness about the importance of the Detroit automakers through public relations and a cable TV documentary handled by 45 North Productions.
He would also like to publish an informational magazine and website called "American Drive" but his plans encountered one major obstacle: no money. More importantly, for all these plans, he benefits from the 100 percent support of former Chrysler chief Lee Iacocca.
Nevertheless, the Big Three, Steve Harris, VP-global communications of GM, Chrysler Chairman-CEO Bob Nardelli and Bill Ford are less enthusiastic about these plans. Harris confessed they “support the concept” but refused to make “a significant investment”, while Nardelli declined its participation. Bill Ford has shown a little courtesy enthusiasm but “given today's business environment, the reality is that we simply cannot fund as many projects as in the past. We have decided to focus most of our marketing and communications dollars on efforts that differentiate and specifically promote Ford's new products and our leadership in fuel efficiency, quality, safety and smart technologies."
And to be honest, we can not blame them for their reserves. Last thing the Detroit car makers need at the moment is a common advertising campaign...