It’s tax time and it looks as though my husband and I are going to have to write a check to the IRS. But let’s be real: those letters are the cryptogram for AIG among others including (2 of *) “the big three”- which reminds me of Ford and my post of June 9, 2008. My post prompted a snarky comment from “I Believe.” With a little curiosity and a quick google search at the time I had unveiled an uneasy irony of information which now is hauntingly relevant.
I found that the struggling Ford Motor company, instead of investing in producing a relevant and quality product, threw money at a high-priced advertising agency for strategic marketing (i.e. “emerging media strategists” who use blogs, for example, to promote and defend their brands) and at the same time I found articles about how the company was monitoring employee bathroom breaks because of a supposed slowing of production (not sales…?). Essentially, Ford Motor focused on the vapid marketing of its brand and its tired line of autos and scapegoated its employees – policing the personal habits of its workers instead of making the effort to create an authentic meaning for its brand by increasing the value and quality of its product; instead of investing in better tools, better materials, better quality of life for its employees, and responsive design approaches for its cars, it threw money at ad agencies and timed employee bathroom breaks – bringing new meaning to the term “bottom line” instead of to its cars.
When did brand-boostering, instead of producing something substantive, become economically viable?…oh,… that’s right, it hasn’t!…
…’scuse me while I go cut a check.
*(note) although Ford did not accept TARP money, they’re still culpable.