Well it looks like the local Ford dealership is continuing with the extremely obnoxious ad that I detailed here about a month ago. I heard the ad and this time I found out what station was airing it. I decided to have some fun and wrote to the Ford corporation which has a long and sordid past flirting with antisemitism and bigotry before and during WW2.
I wrote to the Ford Corporation Customer Service to complain about the ad:
I live in the Mojave desert in Southern California. One of your dealers has been airing a very offensive ad on the radio. This ad states that those who don’t share his personal religious convictions can either get out of the country or sit down and shut up. He also states in the ad that he doesn’t care who he offends.
As a veteran of the US Air Force, I find this ignorance appalling. I swore to uphold and defend the very constitution this man is trashing. The dealership is Keiffe & Sons in Mojave, CA. The ad aired at 6:20 pm on 106.3FM. I was looking at a Ford from that particular dealership, but I think that I will go somewhere else, like the Honda dealership.
I received the following reply from Ford:
Thank you for contacting the Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center regarding the advertising from Kieffe & Sons Ford.
We would like to document your feedback; however, in order to process this, more information is needed. Please include your original message with the following additional information to allow us to proceed.
Cellular Phone Number:
Daytime Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
If you would prefer to provide this information over the phone, you may call us toll free at 1-800-392-3673 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, local time, Monday through Friday. Hearing impaired callers with access to a TDD may contact us by calling 1-800-232-5952.
If you have any other inquiries, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to address them for you.
Customer Relationship Center
Ford Motor Company
I responded with the following:
Dear Mr. Bryan
I would prefer not to reveal any personal information in this email, due to safety reasons. I live in a very small conservative desert community where there are very few nonreligious people. The dealership is Keiffe & Sons in Mojave, CA. The ad aired at 6:20 pm on 106.3FM on the 24th of April.
The ad plainly stated that since about 14% of the population is non-religious, the nonreligious people need to either leave or shut up and that religious people are welcome to come over and buy a car. Needless to say, I will not be going over to buy a car at a place where I’m clearly not welcome. I’m not sure why he would want to alienate the 14% of people he is referring to in the ad. He could have stated that religious people were welcome without explicitly saying that the nonreligious were not.
He has the right to say what he wants no matter how ignorant and bigoted, and I also have the right to shop elsewhere. As an Air Force officer I swore to uphold and the defend the very constitution this man trashes when he says that a minority has no right to free expression of either speech or a religious viewpoint. I’m simply writing about this to let your corporation know what its dealers are doing in its name.
Perhaps the ad will be pulled, who knows? I also sent a similar email to the radio station involved as well. The Antelope Valley is a very conservative place, even though we are in Southern California. A couple of years ago, a store for the local Wiccan community was literally shutdown with protests from church groups and assholish behavior from the local sheriff’s department. I’m not exactly hopeful here.