EDITORIAL: Ford's ads gloss over controversy

The first ads for Ford's new Explorer have been intensely

scrutinized by the media - including The New York Times and USA Today -

for evidence of a new safety agenda and by implication, signs of

culpability. With all due respect, they are unlikely to find what

they're looking for in Ford's advertising. Aside from the legal dangers

of this strategy, it's rarely the role of advertising to explain

complicated or tricky issues. Ads deliberately 'gloss' over controversy,

working to establish, maintain and, in this case, reemphasize the

brand's core lifestyle-based values. We expect the real work of

explanation to come through PR. Let's hope Ford is ready to talk

proactively because the media scrutiny won't go away.



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