Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Keep the Criticism Real

The Oracle was opposed to the auto bailout by the Bush administration and has even publicly pledged to never buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle again.

That being said, the criticism of Chrysler for having spent money on "thank you" ads is just plain silly.

Sure, the full page newspaper ads were expensive, but advertising is a significant and necessary expenditure for car companies, and, at the end of the day, these advertisements were intended to help rehabilitate the brand and sell cars. The ads may have taken the form of a thank you letter, but the PR purpose is a feel good ad creating some sort of positive feeling for the company.

I am not sure that any objective observer really believes that Chrysler is going to survive this, but that remains the intention of the bailout decision. They can't possibly survive if they don't sell cars, and selling cars requires advertising. As such, it is silly for critics to complain about their spending on this.

Oh, and I notice that one of the critics was Grover Norquist. While Mr. Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform, frequently makes loud noises about limited government, his associations with corrupt Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff make him a far worse offender than Chrysler on the cynical waste of taxpayer money. It is galling that he remains a spokesman that people look to on these issues.


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