Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Are You a CarDoll Hater?
First of all, let me make a statement in regards to vested interests and financial motivations: Neither I, nor any of my business partners or affiliated companies receive any payment, advertising funds, or in any way benefit from the success or failure of "The CarDoll". The same holds true for Jamie Lynn's husband (Ted Ing) and his businesses, or any of their other business interests.
I respect the right of each and every ADM Professional Community member to express their opinion, and if you disagree with me, I will usually promote your post! Last Wednesday, Larry Bruce paid me a compliment in Houston when he said to an ADM member who was complaining about "The CarDoll" to me:
"One thing about Ralph, I have posted many articles and statements that he vehemently disagrees with, but I have never seen him delete or moderate somebody for having an opinion different from his..."
(or something like that - sorry Larry if I got that wrong) I am deeply optimistic that a few of you reading this, who disagree with me, may understand that people who are friends can have differing opinions on such matters. I simply feel, in my heart, that to attack someone for the way they dress, or their personal mannerisms is wrong...
Long before certain individuals started talking about punching a young woman in the face for wearing a short dress in an automotive training video, I despised bigotry, racism, prejudice against people who look and/or act differently, along with the intolerant and at times violent behaviors that go with such hateful principles... Such as judging people by their appearance or ostracizing a person because of their looks. Threatening a young person with harm or rallying and influencing others to adopt the same negative attitude and hatreds towards appearance that is outside what somebody has deemed acceptable.
That is probably why I tend to defend the rights of gays, lesbians, people of color, those shorter than me, taller than me, darker than me, lighter than me, or even those stupid car salesmen that don't wear ties to sales meetings! Heck, I am even so far out of the norm that I have willfully, gladly and with a positive attitude sold cars to strippers, porn stars, sluts and the whores that cheat on their husbands (the reverse are the manly men who cheat on their wives).
I have actually accepted payments from people wearing bikinis and short-shorts who wanted to buy a car... Worse yet, I have sold vehicles to many of the undocumented immigrants here in Arizona who get gouged on their payroll taxes, then never file a return to get a refund of their over-payments, but who needed a car to get back and forth from that same job.
One of the best characteristics about the car business (in my opinion) is how, for the most part, we do not act prejudicial, regardless of a customer's appearance... As long as they have the means or credit rating to buy a car.
I have seen restaurants and bars refuse to serve people who look different than their usual clientele, but am proud to say, and thank the Lord that in MY CHOSEN INDUSTRY, I have not yet seen a customer kicked out of a dealership for their appearance, or even something as offensive as too much cleavage or a skirt that is too short.
Maybe my support for The CarDoll (Jamie Lynn Ing) is misplaced, but try to take a look at it through my eyes... Because, I look at the situation this way - I was raised during a time in American culture when many of us were taught that if you don't have anything good to say about somebody, then you don't say anything at all... Those that know me, also know that i have on many occasions violated this principle when a company or person does something i feel egregious enough to speak out about... Such as fraud, charging for a product or service that does not perform as promised, etc. However, in this situation it seems to me that for ANYBODY to put a lot of effort into criticizing and personally attacking a community member in the social media space based on personal appearance is just plain wrong... This is how bullying and some of the related suicides we see in various news reports have occurred.
I had the unforgettable misfortune of witnessing deadly homophobic mob violence in Buffalo New York (outside of a Hertel Ave. bar), when I was 21 years old... The victim was guilty of dressing inappropriately, revealing his sexual orientation in the wrong place at the wrong time. At that moment, maybe I was in shock, I vowed to NEVER become a "hater" and to accept people who were different from me as individuals. Because we are fortunate enough to live in the United States, we are living in what most of us would like to describe as a free country... I was so radicalized by my traumatic experience that I am now foolish enough to believe that if a woman so chooses, she is entitled to wear short dresses, or even show off her cleavage if she wants to. If you find that concept shocking, you better move to Saudi Arabia... Or at least stay away from most Phoenix are dealership Finance Departments.
Now, with that said, I am quite comfortable with informing those that report to me in a work situation that clothing is either appropriate for our workplace, or it is not. I also understand that if the people working in a business are not dressed in a manner that meets the approval of some people, that that business may lose those people as customers. In fact, as incredible as some may find this to be about my background, I once escorted a high ranking Honda executive OUT of a party at NADA because of the scantily clad women who had been hired to mingle with the crowd at the party... (but Ralph, that doesn't happen in the car business!)
But guess what I did not do? I did not insult, assault or even pass judgement on the people who chose to stay at the party, nor did I slap any of the women or "punch them in the face"... as somebody has posted, describing what they want to do to Jamie Lynn (aka CarDoll).
I do not have to become a CarDoll customer, I am not now, nor do I intend to become one... neither do you or anyone else. Quite honestly, her appearance and mannerisms make me somewhat uncomfortable, but for those that enjoy her style of training and communication, more power to you... Vive le Différence!
What ever happened to simply posting a comment expressing a strong negative opinion? Trying to organize a public lynching of anyone for the reasons people are attacking Jamie Lynn (the CarDoll) is far too close to the sentiments that create Lynch Mobs and emboldens those that burn crosses on people's front lawns for my own morality and sense of right and wrong to accept.
How many of the CarDoll's detractors have communicated directly with her and attempted to coach her? I have... Have her other critics? Because, yes... I am a critic and Jamie Lynn and Ted Ing both know it.
If we deem ourselves enlightened, forward thinking "Thought Leaders", then we should refuse to accept "Hate Behavior", or any other form of online or offline bullying and appearance-based judgmental rejection... Where does it end? Are Burqas the next female clothing requirement in the auto industry?
Make no mistake, the way people have expressed a desire to physically abuse Jamie Lynn, to "Punch her in the face" is fueled by the same types of hatred and misogynistic motivations as when a group of Afghan men stone a young woman to death for exposing her face in public... Or, when an Indian girl is gang raped to death and the perpetrators say she had it coming. For those of you spewing hatred and intolerance for Jamie Lynn's appearance.... Osama Bin Laden has 76 virgins for you too.
Every single person in my life who is closely related to me, my daughters, granddaughters, my wife and many of my best friends, are women... I admire and respect women in general. I am thankful that my daughters and granddaughters were born in a country that protects a woman's rights, more so than many other countries (although not as much as several). I am not willing to be neutral or silent about judging any woman solely by her appearance, or the clothing she chooses to wear... Whether it is because she is a devout Moslem, choosing to wear a Burqa, or a Philadelphia news reporter wearing a dress that is too short by Amish standards; either way, such appearance based rushes to judgement and the inflexible standards implied seem wrong to me.
Regardless of the clothing Jamie Lynn (CarDoll) wears or even the way she displays an attitude that seems remarkably similar to what I see so many men expressing in public settings, and then being admired by their peers, and rewarded for, there is something fundamentally wrong with hating her, or attacking her for it.
I find the whole CarDoll bashing thing to be a disgusting example of intolerance and "socially acceptable" prejudice. These are people motivated by opinions far too similar to what drives violence against women, or result in a gay man tied to a fence in Wyoming, then beaten to death. I am ashamed of the people I know who are so eager to hate a woman who dares to act like the TV commercials used to sell cars, or for saying the same things that men are applauded and revered for.
As a whole, this world could use a little more love, and a lot less hate...
Joe's video, to my understanding, is a parody of things like CarDoll.
Arnold, most of my comment was written in the same parody style of Joe's video... However, I did pose a serious question... If all things remained the same with CarDoll's approach and marketing strategy, but Jamie Lynn was actually considered an unattractive person, would the response of her attackers be any different? Because if it were, then there are obviously other issues at work in the response patterns of her attackers. I sincerely believe that if her appearance was different, and the way she dressed were different, the very same marketing strategy and promotional style would have drawn more yawns than outcry.
I disagree. I think if the marketing strategy and promotional style were the same, people would feel the same about it. I dont know if I would consider this an "outcry" though. IMO, it is what it is. They can sell/teach/market in whatever way they want and ask for money. If people give it to them, more power to them.
Joe's video was a parody of CarDoll. I actually wasn't so comfortable with it, but I understood the frustration. It's not his constant schtick. Just a one-time thing to parody. I thought you knew that?
I don't think this article was about approval of the methods used by Cardoll. I think it was about the frenetic and vicious personal attacks that were apparently being made by those who disapprove. I haven't seen them and I don't know who made them. But, if true, it is an inappropriate level of discourse for expressing ones displeasure.
Sexuality in business is always going to be a flashpoint. Is there a difference between subtle sexuality and overt sexuality? Reasonable people can disagree. Could it be a matter of good taste? Is it threatening to some people? What does it say about us in general? And where does it end?
Unfortunately, Social Media tends toward expressing one's first reactions... sometimes inappropriately and regretfully. Speaking about punching someone in the face might be a first reaction that was later regretted even if the feeling was real. But one loose word often leads to an emotional piling on and a mob mentality. This is a great country because we are inclusive. We accept the right to alternative points of view even when we don't approve of them.
Can a brother get a link, or at least a posting of the text w/sources, of these personal attacks? No way do I support them. And, for the record, I don't support CarDoll, either. I just support the right of folks to disagree.
CES has booth bait. So does NADA. I went to conventions for twenty years in technology, and what booth bait we had then (for the most part) was actually the attractive marketing women. It's just the truth. They were smart, and educated about their products, and often part of the team delivering them. However, anybody that says attractiveness was not a factor in their posting at those conventions is lying or deluded.
Do I think NADA should tone booth bait down? Like less nurses in short skirts, etc.? Yes. In my own opinion, and I don't want to punch anybody in their face, CarDoll is symptomatic and not the real point at all. The real point? Women aren't respected in this business as men are, and CarDoll, booth bait, etc. just continue that attitude.
Keith, with all due respect I believe you are confusing symptoms with root causes... The problems you describe are caused by the reality that "Booth Bait" and "nurses in short skirts" remain highly effective in getting dealers and managers to engage with suppliers. I do not believe for a moment that if such activity used to promote supplier products stopped happening that it would reflect any change in our industry's culture or demeanor, the root cause is the simple reality that such promotional practices work! I also do not believe personally attacking the hired models, or attractive technical supplier employees will fix the root causes either... Again, the problem is not the methodology it is the effectiveness of the methodology that is a condemnation of our industry and a symptom of a problem that exists with or without the practices that so many people find offensive, but far too many others respond to.
I also submit for consideration that "The CarDoll" is not a problem for our industry if the techniques and methodology do not find a paying audience... If our industry has truly moved past the root causes of gender based bias, then "The CarDoll" will not sell any of her products and services and will disappear fairly quickly. Attacking the CarDoll is no different than attacking the "Booth Babes" you describe, and is a misplaced application of efforts and attention.
Due respect in return, but sometimes treating the symptoms reduces the severity. An untreated cold can become pneumonia--a completely different biological disease--and so treatment is sought on the symptoms to reduce the risk.
Just because something "works" in advertising doesn't make it right. Women in this industry do suffer from the root cause, the 'cold', but they need help with the 'pneumonia'. Cardoll is just tossing a hot blanket on a fever.
I don't support personal attacks on social media, and I've called out even "the highest" in social media for doing just that. And so I don't support anything negative about CarDoll from that point of view.
I don't believe men and women are likely to change, and some women like to be appreciated for their looks and sexual appeal. As do some men. People talk about a "fine line", but often it is blurry. Sometimes hard to see when it is crossed, but it's easy to see when someone lands on a side of it.
Booth bait is long overdue for a reduction. It's over the line, which has moved even more in this century. CarDoll? Over the line, too, in my opinion. Which is just that. One man's opinion.
The lack of females posting on this blog COULD be due to lack of interest. Or it could be because they've heard all this before and are tired of it. Or they don't want to post so that they don't get further excluded from the Good Ol' Boy Network.
Thanks, my friend, for ADM where we can talk about such things.
Keith, I agree with Ralph that what works is what will be. Treating the symptoms sounds a lot like censorship to me. When will you put an end to pretty girls announcing the news on TV? That is absolutely sexist, don't you agree? Why can't a homely man do just as well? I'll volunteer for those big bucks! ;-)
My wife is always surprised at how many older and "unattractive" people are spokespeople or advertisers in our society. In China, where she came from, you can't get to those positions unless you are in your 20s and beautiful.
Our society has come a long way (blame it on the boomers) in creating equal opportunity for those who do not flaunt sexuality. But it has to be the consumer (in this case an industry) that makes it so.
Sexuality and attractiveness, and the unabashed appeal of it is universal and will always be a part of marketing. We can judge and criticize, but it is reality, not harrassment. What we cannot do is use it as a focus in our workplace.
Really? Hmmm. How about CarFax using consumers' bigotry against dealers to sell their wares? Or some slick rep mgt company selling on that bigotry? Where would you fall on that one? Very, very similar to what happens to women in our industry, what happens to us with consumers and such stereotype branding.
And censorship?? No way, and I feel that's insulting to read that. It's censorship when someone is not allowed to express themselves. SCOTUS has put some limits on that, even, but in general we're very allowed to do what we want.
It is certainly NOT censorship to react, organize, point out change that's needed, etc., in opposition to other's views. That's just as much 1st Amendment as CarDoll, etc.
And so, in my opinion, uncensored here, anyone thinking booth bait, CarDoll, etc. in this business needs to have 1st Amendment rights is correct. Anyone thinking boothbait, CarDoll, etc. isn't hurting the professional women in our industry is lost in some 1800's mental fog.
And that's my opinion. We're really the last industry to blatantly support this kind of thing. And it just adds to the negativity.
Turn the press, from Fox News to CNN, loose on the NADA floor with a camera. Let consumers see how we really parade ourselves. We'd be embarassed. And we look fools.
And that's my $.02, just an opinion.
Keith, don't be offended by the word censorship. I grew up in a time when Beaver's parents had to sleep in separate beds. In no way did I endorse sexuality in advertising, nor did I endorse Cardoll. I merely said it is self-evident and not only in our industry.
When you start "treating the symptoms", I assume you mean censoring them. If not, please elaborate. We are absolutely not the last industry to blatantly support this kind of thing (and I don't think we do). Turn on the TV or cruise the Internet.
I don't know the answer to the broader question here about sexuality in advertising. But I believe it would be risky to bring it into a dealership. And I don't believe it only offends women. But this article was about the reaction of some people to Cardoll. If true, it was over the top.
In a professional convention, Tom. I'm not talking about the lowest sex-oriented media. I've attended professional conventions across oil & gas, technology, banking, and now the car business since 1987. Every convention panders--if we measure our professional selves by consumer-oriented advertising, we may as well forget it.
I'm 54. I watched shows like that, too.
I'm talking about change, my friend. The leap from what I said about treating symptoms to "censorship"... well, I'm still offended. That's a helluvanassumption right there.
I have said ENOUGH about supporting CarDoll's 1st Amendment Rights, several times. I SUPPORT IT 100%. To say the least, this fixation of yours is frustrating. You're my friend, so One More Time: SHE CAN DO WHAT SHE WANTS AND SAY WHAT SHE WANTS. So can Ted Ings.
SO CAN I. So can we. I believe we make room for the women professionals in this business by our own advancement past our belt buckle thinking. Symptom?
The symptom I'm treating is US. Our thinking. And, as always, it's the hardest because nobody WANTS to change. Not because it isn't right to do so.
And, that's my *&^&%$ own 1st Amendment OPINION.