As GM Goes, So Goes the Nation? Over My Dead Pontiac!
G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
General Motors Corporation
Dear Mr. Wagoner;
I am writing to inform you that your marketing choice to use Rush Limbaugh to promote your line of green vehicles has cemented my decision to stop buying General Motors products. The fact that you are paying hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars directly to a man whose entire livelihood and career has depended fomenting and furthering cultural and political divisions in our country is unacceptable to me as a consumer.
While I was driving around the other day, I hit the scan button of my radio and tuned to the Rush Limbaugh show for what I thought would be a curious few seconds, until I heard him segue from an angry rant comparing Sarah Palin's and Barack Obama's energy policies into his personalized promotion and endorsement of GM's green fuel SUVs along with your company's sponsorship of his show. According to a recent New York Times Magazine profile
of Mr. Limbaugh, this type of sponsorship (which borders on payola in my opinion) is extremely expensive and quite lucrative for the man who has done more damage to the social fabric of our country than any other.
Before you dismiss this letter as the rantings of just another whiny liberal, let me list the cars that I and my wife have owned since graduating from high school over 20 years ago:
1984 Chevy Cavalier
1988 Pontiac Grand Prix
1989 Chevy Beretta
1998 Saturn SW1
We currently drive:
1999 Pontiac Sunfire
2002 Chevy Venture
As our pattern of purchases may suggest, we are approaching the time where both of our vehicles will be replaced. I was
a very loyal customer - exactly the type your company tried to groom for a lifetime of purchases. Thanks to your advertising decisions, this time around we will not even be considering a General Motors vehicle.
While I am sure that your marketing and advertising wizards have weighed the cost/benefit ratio of using an extremely divisive spokesperson, the absolute gall of hiring a man who disputes global climate change, who used to brag that his newsletter was printed on "virgin paper" and who finds nothing more enjoyable than to stick his thumb in the eye of any environmental movement to promote your flex fuel vehicles is frankly disgusting.
For the sake of Detroit, my former hometown, and the sake of the hardworking men and women who depend on you to make wise business decisions, I hope that this choice does not damage General Motors in any longstanding fashion. However, I can assure you that GM has lost me as a customer for the indefinite future.
North Adams, MA