TABLES TURNED: Ford Challenged for Ads on ‘Ethically-Questionable’ News Outlets

(Paul Chesser, Liberty Headlines) After recent actions by major companies to stop advertising on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” which forced its popular anchor out of his job, a conservative group is beginning to pressure corporate advertisers to turn up the heat on “fake news” — and not the type as defined by the political left.

Ford Motor Company photo

Photo by shotwell.steve (CC)

Last week the National Center for Public Policy Research submitted a shareholder proposal at the annual meeting (which was conducted online) of Ford Motor Company that asked company officials to report on the “reputation risk” of advertising on “ethically questionable” news programs, and to use their advertising influence to push for more “fair-minded and objective” journalism.

Citing evidence revealed by Wikileaks that showed collusion between top officials with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and employees with national news organizations, and a report from the Media Research Center that found 89 percent of coverage by ABC, CBS and NBC of President Trump in his first 100 days was negative, NCPPR said Ford should demand more objectivity from the broadcast companies that depend on their advertising dollars.

“As hostility grows between the President and channels that report what he calls fake news, Ford exposes itself to reputational risk if it continues to affiliate with ethically-questionable news outlets,” said Justin Danhof, director of NCPPR’s Free Enterprise Project, in a question submitted to Ford executives during the shareholder meeting. “Many Ford owners and potential Ford customers, for example, support the President’s efforts to grow American manufacturing. Their purchasing decisions may be influenced by which outlets Ford supports with its paid advertising.

“Will you vow to use your power as an advertiser to push for increased objectivity among the media outlets with which you spend shareholder resources?” Danhof asked. “If that effort is rebuffed, will you withdraw advertisements from networks that many people, including the President, believe peddle fake news?”

In justifying its shareholder proposal, Danhof noted that Ford was among several companies that suspended advertising on Google’s platforms — including YouTube — because of potential offensive content. He said the move, in conjunction with other corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and Walmart, would have the effect of forcing Google to change its policies and clean up its users’ content.

But NCPPR reported that Ford’s general counsel, Bradley Gayton, rebuffed their request with what seemed to be a “canned answer.”

TABLES TURNED: Ford Challenged for Ads on 'Ethically-Questionable' News Outlets 1

Bradley Gayton/PHOTO: Ford Motor Company

“Ford advertises on a range of programming to reach our customers,” Gayton responded. “I think it’s commonly understood Ford doesn’t control or endorse political views of any media outlet which we advertise on. The purpose of advertising is to inform consumers of our great products and services, and we think the public really does understand that advertising via certain media outlets does not translate into an endorsement of such outlets’ views.

“Potential buyers represent a range of views,” he added, “and our goal is really to call all of them our customers.”

Danhof called that answer a dodge, in light of how the company handled its relationship with Google. He said by not evaluating how its advertising affiliation with news networks that deliver slanted — and sometimes false — coverage favoring only one side of the political spectrum, that Ford risks alienating a large segment of their potential customers.

“If Ford is not evaluating the way that President Trump and the media are interacting, it’s derelict in its duty,” said Danhof. “As those two factions seem to become further entrenched, with the press giving exceedingly negative coverage of the White House and President Trump calling some media outlets ‘fake’ news and enemies of the American people, Ford finds itself in danger of losing customers that equate the company’s brand with press attacks on the President.”

This morning Ford announced it would cut 10 percent of its salaried workforce in North America and Asia, blaming slowing U.S. sales.

“Ford executives surely know that the company has great influence over those [media] outlets on which it chooses to use to spend advertising dollars,” Danhof said. “When it comes to media platforms, Ford executives signaled today that they are shirking their responsibility and power.”

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  • Bernie

    I guess two can play that “we’ll pull our advertising” crap.

  • Gale

    *uck liberals and everything they stand for

  • Gale

  • Maxine Albritton

    So now we only advertise on politically correct segments. How nice. Never liked fords anyway. I have a jeep but cannot drive it. Love it anyway. This is my third and the other two lasted well over ten years. One eighteen, One sixteen before sold. still going. this one ten.

    • keepyourpower

      Why can’t you drive it?

    • blue

      actull, just the opposite. you shun those that are politically correct

  • Larry Brule


  • Most conservatives understand the need for advertising no matter what channel it airs on. I would oppose any company that chooses to boycott a particular new network.

    • Edouard d’Orange

      Then you would have opposed the companies (which are advertisers) that pulled ads from Fox News and Bill O’Reilly. Okay, you take a principled stand. But those tactics worked for leftists against O’Reilly. So then leftist, progressive Democraps will continue to use the tactic, which means you allow Democraps to set the agenda. And Republicans are left defenseless to stop out of control democrap news media. This is a virtual battle. Without conservatives being able to use disruptive tactics, you cede the battlefield to democraps and allow them to run over everyone.

      • HoneyNana

        Exactly right Edouard! What is Jerry thinking? Clearly he doesn’t understand the whole purpose of boycotting and it’s effectiveness to drive policy changes.

      • Edouard,

        I support boycotts of every liberal thrust I possibly can. Most of those pertain to companies who support liberal agendas. But I do not attack legitimate advertising by companies who are not taking sides. They are simply advertising. Big difference.

  • keepyourpower

    I was thinking of trading in my Buick, for a Pick up Truck…a large purchase. Guess it will not be a Ford!

    • CompletelyOutsane

      Uh, I suspect all of the major auto manufacturers advertise with fake news outlets. Are you going to buy another GM – Government Motors product? Or a foreign owned company product? I’m freakin’ tired of the mass stupidity of politicizing EVERYTHING!

    • HoneyNana

      That’s a shame though. Why wouldn’t you want to buy from Ford who is promoting American workmanship and product? Are you upset that Ford is planning to spend their advertising dollars anywhere besides the fake news outlets that are up against President Trump?

  • Lia2010

    Wow I was so close to buying my first ford pickup. Found On Road Dead or Fix Or Repair Daily. What was I thinking?! Ford you suck! ABC tv you suck also for canceling Last Man Standing. I will buy no Fords and watch no ABC tv nor ever go to Disney Land again.

  • Nicodemus

    I still have a FORD….but my newest purchase was a Jeep after FORD joined the descent into depravity with donations and advertising in support of the ‘gay’ agenda (I boycott all companies who support anti-gun, pro-gay or anti-American agendas of any kind). It’s good to see a little sanity returning to their board…..

    • blue

      actually, it would be a good idea for an orginaized response to all the left wing companies, including Apple, Target etc.

      • Nicodemus

        Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, did just that….but it would be good for more secular groups to get involved. The NRA occasionally posts lists of anti-gun groups/celebrities. Feel free to suggest it to various blogs/websites….I may do the same…

        • Cheryl Detar

          I’ve done it. I started with boycotting Target. Since then, the Target in my area, has closed. Many consumers do not realize, how effective they can be. Perhaps, Ford is cutting it’s workforce and their sales are down, becuse of THEIR political views.

          • HoneyNana

            I’ve banned Target from my shopping preferences too. Ford needs to ramp up their stance and make everyone aware that they are promoting American workers and American product. And they need to emphatically state why they are pulling their ad dollars from fake news sites. I bet they pull ahead in the near future with patriotic Americans buying more FORD vehicles. Ford’s political views are a benefit to them and in the long run that would be apparent to their bottom line. This fake news business is still too fresh and not many are aware they’re being hoodwinked by lamestream media.

          • Nicodemus

            Hot Dogs, Apple Pie & Chevrolet….Ford = cross-dressers, fudge-packers and closet queens? Anyway, don’t forget to stop drinking Pepsi (and Coke) and find an alternative like iced tea. The CEO of Pepsi actually stated that, if you’re a Trump supporter, THEY DON’T WANT YOUR BUSINESS! OK, if that’s how they feel….I can make pizza and burritos at home and get my fried chicken at the Kroger store (Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell are all owned by Pepsi)….and Quaker isn’t the only brand of oats out there…. To quote Anthony Hopkins when discussing prohibiting in ‘Legends of the Fall’….SCREW ‘EM!

          • HoneyNana

            Good to know. I don’t drink any sodas, so okay with that and I would rather give my hard earned dollars to local eateries that have no affiliation with corporate cows trying to instill their warped agenda on my life. I like the way you think!

      • william couch

        Don’t forget “Ben & Jerry’s” ice cream..

    • Fed up!

      Going to the Jeep dealership this morning, sorry Ford your Political stand has turn against the American workers who made you what you are today. Money 💰 talks loudly in business, but so do customer loyalty.

  • Why didn’t the Main Street Press go after Obama advertising for illegals to come to the USA and they will be given everything a citizen gets!

    • Edouard d’Orange

      We know the reason the Mainstream, Lamestream Media doesn’t attack Democraps- they agree with them by about 95+% to maybe 5%. And we know that illegals take jobs from Americans, plus cost us so much in services. And we can surmise that Democraps want illegal aliens to come here and vote for them. The only salvation was that most of the voters in the heartland saw all of the aforementioned- that the media refused to report- and elected Trump and many Republicans.

    • william couch

      There was a “D” after his name..

  • fishunter

    Ford of making my glad that I just bought a Chevy Silverado. It has a 5.3 engine and 4WD. It runs great and I love it. P.S. I am a conservative voter and I also vote with my money.

    • blue

      then how about adding Apple and the other left leaning companies to your list. think that would be a good idea?

  • 27633171

    Everyone who has purchased a Ford vehicle in the past should reevaluate whether or not to purchase another one if Ford continues to support these biased news organizations with their advertising dollars.These executives know full well who these organizations are and to claim otherwise is a faslehood. It’s time for the people to take control by with holding their dollars.

  • Fed up!

    Well As a Ford Family for three Generations 42 Fords later. I will look else where to replace my 250000 mile Ford truck. Jeep is looking real nice right now. Thanks Ford for making my decision.

    • HoneyNana

      you said that already. what a shame.

    • Nicodemus

      My old Ford is still running great, but with their political stance, I’m happy to say I LOVE MY NEW JEEP! It handles better, especially in snow and mud. The Sound System is even awesome! I think I’ve become a lifetime JEEP driver!

      • Fed up!

        Just got one for the wife. Let you know what I think. Of course she ended up with new one. I drive my Ford truck for awhile 😁

  • Jimmie Stevenson

    I`ve stopped watching network TV, except for the weather. The weather forecasting has been pretty accurate, if the “news” gets back to reporting rather than following their agenda maybe they can be trusted some day again.

  • mary

    I was planing to purchase a Ford as my next vehicle but if they continue to do business with news media that report fake news I won’t buy Ford.

    • HoneyNana

      Did I misunderstand the article stating that they WANT to only advertise on fair and balanced news sites and NOT advertise on fake news sites?!

  • Ferd321

    Me too! I was going to by a Lincoln MKZ, but now will go elsewhere.
    Drain the swamp!!