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I will try to explain without calling out suppliers or car companies by name... But the point here is to seek out opinions as to when is it appropriate for a senior executive at a supplier who does not like what he sees posted in an ADM forum or blog to contact another executive at a car company for the purpose of censuring and impacting an individual's employment? If you are reading this, then you probably have also read other forums or blogs where individuals discess what they like or do not like about an OEM sponsored or mandated program... My question is this, if a supplier does not like what they read here at ADM, is it a morally and ethically sound practice to exert pressure on an individual by writing an email that complains to a car company and asks that car company to enquire at the individual's employer about the appropriateness of publishing such criticism? Because, I am experiencing this right now and it feels like my rights to freedom of speech are being squashed through an attempt to get me disciplined by my employer using undue influence on a major car company!

Am I complaining about something that is just part of the game? Should I just chalk this up to the heat in the kitchen? Why didn't that same supplier and competitor executive post their response on the forum that offended him? Why wouldn't that same supplier who competes with my employer simply stick up for his own program and write positive commentary about it?

Now that I have vented, more than ever before I know the difference between a good competitor and a whining piece of s*** that prefers back door politics instead of competing on a level playing field!

On Sunday I received a message and then spoke by phone to the Chief Marketing Officer at one of my employer's leading competitors, and a competitor to the same company that is trying to exert undue influence against this ADM website using a car company's influence... The conversation was great... We discussed where each of us were going with online social networking, and despite being rabid competitors we had a civilized discussion and agreed upon what would be considered mutually appropriate and acceptable, and what would not... One of the issues we each agreed upon was not to try and use our customers and OEM contacts to get each other into trouble for aomething we write on a website like this one... How ironic... Within 48 hours the nastiest, dirtiest pool player in the auto industry tries to exert undue influence using manipulative statements made to a car campany and mutual customer.

Tags: ADM?, When, a, appropriate, at, car, censor, company, criticism, infIuence, More…is, it, made, on, supplier, to, use

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Hey Ralph,

First, my apologies for not responding to this forum earlier but I was busy selling cars for my clients; which happens to be a perfect segway to my reply. The complaining party should focus on the shared priority of selling cars for the dealer and the O.E.M. rather than venting misguided accusations that help no one and don't sell anything for anyone - including themselves.

The opportunity to address the problems raised in the "offending" forum and subsequent supporting replies to the problems it surfaced was the perfect opportunity to improve a flawed process to benefit the dealer, the O.E.M. and most significantly the ability of the "offended" vendor to take credit for listening, learning and improving their products and services to SELL MORE CARS!

In previous forums regarding consumer social networking sites it was universally agreed that a posted problem was more valued than a compliment since a pissed off customer would tell ten people while a satisfied customer might tell one or two. That truth existed in the real world by "word of mouth" and it has been amplifed in the virtual world one thousand fold with the World Wide Web providing an extended audience of more than just family and friends. In this case, the dealer and even the O.E.M. are the "customer" and the vendor is the "dealer." Same game, different players - same goal to satisfy the customer!

The opportunity still exists for the short sighted vendor - of course we all know who that is - to apologize for any misguided and mis-directed accusations aimed at the person - Ralph Paglia - that was wise enough to provide a forum to surface the problem and allow the vendor to resolve it. I am sure that ADM will accept the forum without edit - which by the way is what got Ralph in "trouble" to begin with, and I would be happy to donate a half hour program on our blog talk radio station to the vendor for FREE to discuss his services and present all of the positive things that they do for their customers.

Oh yeah, I should mention that I represent a large number of those customers and many of them had voiced similar concerns regarding the communal sites being attacked in the offending forum and and they have expressed their frustrations by asking me to seek alternate sites for them in retaliation. That was well before Ralph's response to a forum that he did not start. If anything, some of the suggested communications to the vendor included in the forum provided a much appreciated vent for some of my dealer clients in lieu of seeking an alternate vendor for their main site.

Any way, this is America - you know, free speech and all that - so keep the complaints coming! I for one make a living trying to solve them, especially if they are about me and mine since I would rather know if I was at risk of being fired with a chance to fix the problem and keep the business.

If the "complainant" would like to appear on WAAOL, All Automotive advertising News All The Time, featured on please post a forum on ADM with your request, or reply to this reply, and I would be happy to oblige. After all, that is what ADM is all about and that is what friends are for!

Thank you for the eloquent, well stated and completely rational response to this forum discussion... I appreciate your support, but now you make me feel even guiltier when I miss one of my Thursday Lunch With Ralph Blog Talk Radio Broadcasts! Anyways, keep up your persistent and diligent 24/7 marketing and industry rallying online... If you did what you do for your agency while working at a dealership you would sell more than 100 cars a month! It is an honor to call you friend and every time I think that i do not have time to communicate with you, something like this response of your's comes along and I find that I must make time for you!
Ralph; Keep pushing for that next level. There are some "old type" guys out there like me who do see it and do support it.
Fred Haney


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