Should Automotive Magazines Be Part of An Automakers Ad Campaign?

Have you seen the TV ads, MotorTrend Ask People Who Don't Drive A Ford ...? Here's one:

I have a problem with this. I know MotorTrend is not the only magazine to partner with an automaker in an advertisement. And there are legitimate times when an automaker will quote a magazine's review, much like a movie review. But to blatantly sell one brand over another, well that seems to cross a line to me.

I'm not accusing MotorTrend of bias in their reviews of Ford products. I don't routinely read MotorTrend (unless I'm at the dentist). It does give me pause though. If they are being paid by Ford for these advertisements maybe ...? I don't know but it makes me uneasy.

I review new cars. I try to be positive in my reviews but if I get a dog I'll say so (thankfully there are no real dogs anymore). I am not paid by any car company though, not for anything. Yes sometimes I get a meal from one or the other at some event and I try to make sure I say so in print.

How would my readers feel if they saw Bruce on TV hawking a particular brand? Would they wonder if I glossed over any faults in a review of their cars? I would. Now if someone wants to take something nice I say and use it that's fine by me. But you won't see me selling cars.

So tell me, how do you feel about an impartial car magazine trying to sell you a Ford?


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