BUENOS AIRES: Ford surprised the Argentine PR industry last week by hiring a PR agency for the first time in its 40 years in the country.
BUENOS AIRES: Ford surprised the Argentine PR industry last week by
hiring a PR agency for the first time in its 40 years in the
The biggest surprise was that the automotive giant didn’t call Hill &
Knowlton/Argentina, which works in tandem with Ford ad agency J. Walter
Thompson. Instead, the company tapped top local PR firm Nueva
Since Nueva is regarded as Argentina’s premier PR shop for crisis
management, business journalists are speculating about potential threats
to Ford’s reputation.
One possible landmine could be the tense car-import negotiations between
Argentina and Brazil. Ford has already extracted tax exemptions from
Brazil for a new auto plant and could be lobbying Argentina for similar
treatment. If the company can’t reach an agreement with Argentine
authorities, Ford might opt for shifting production to Brazil, meaning
layoffs and subsequent bad publicity.
Nueva declined to discuss the specifics of its relationship with Ford,
but said that the firm is ’just doing media relations as usual’ for the
company’s PR department, headed by veteran VP Rodolfo Ceretti.
Problems may begin sooner rather than later if Nueva signs an already
negotiated agreement to sell out to The Weber Group. Interpublic,
through its ad agency McCann Erickson, works for General Motors, which
would present Ford and Nueva with a glaring conflict of interest.