Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, 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...
Stan, in the photos you are referring to, you were the unwitting victim of overly aggressive booth babes... OK... Yeah... Right... Have you ever been married? Did that excuse actually work with your spouse?
Just to be clear. This is the real Keith Shetterly here. CarDoll as marketing offends me, not morally, but as a demeaning reality to my sisters in this business. A couple of whom spoke out clearly here in the same way I did. I have yet to see a real "attack" on CarDoll, or censorship, or any of the other things claimed or fretted about.
I don't judge Jamie Lynn as a person. I DO judge the marketing as hurtful to people I care about. She has a mechanical engineering degree, Ralph said? I've got an electrical engineering degree, and I don't care if she's an M.D. or a Ph.D. Every professional woman in this business who worked their way to where they are did so against a tide of prejudice. Prejudice amplified by this marketing technique.
And anyone thinking this kind of marketing supports our professional sisters, or doesn't hurt them, or doesn't pull them backward as one of the women commenting here actually wrote, is just missing the point. That's my opinion, NOT a personal attack on anybody.
So, market how you want. How they want. Heck, get as low as the law allows. However, to me, if you wouldn't sit with your Mom, sister(s), or daughter(s) and read the posts aloud, look at the pictures, and listen to the videos, it's not marketing we need or should support.
And that has nothing, repeat nothing, to do with Jamie Lynn or Ted Ings as people. As I wrote, I've not seen anything against them as people. It must be somewhere else other than this thread. I have read a lot of hand wringing about it, though.
To follow Manny's lead, then, I remind us that the Bible passage he references does not reveal what Jesus wrote on the ground (John 8:6). Only the verbal point he made, well taken here as Manny points it out.
So, then, what do we write on the ground, my friends, here for our sisters and brothers to see?
Something to consider. Thanks.
The real Stan Sher is in the house and as you all know it might not get anymore real then this lol
As stated before I do not agree with what they are doing and how they are doing it. I just think that we are in a free country and everyone has the right to do what they want. Has anyone ever read the September 2009 issue of AutoSuccess? A well known self proclaimed top internet sales expert in the industry decided to put his wife on the cover and write a story about her in which 1/3 if that involved anything about the car industry. That 1/3 was all fluff and there was no factual truth to it. How do we know it is fluff? Well that is because everything that person writes and talks about it fluff. But that is neither here or there. What I am saying is that this is not the first time in our industry that someone has used their good looking spouse for the benefit of promoting their business venture. I mean go walk the expo hall at NADA next week and you will see some vendors hire ridiculously gorgeous models to promote their booth and product. As the saying goes, "sex sells".
Anyone is entitled to their own opinion and can operate a venture as they please. I do question their qualifications as I would anyone trying to sell me something.
Dang Stan. Spill it. :)
Manny, at the risk of Keith Shetterly thinking I am talking about him, when I am not... I AM NOT... Let me respond to your comment by saying that I have had several phone conversations with Jamie Lynn and Ted Ing about The CarDoll... I explained in several ways that their objectives could be accomplished just as effectively with a little more subtlety and less sexual innuendo. However, the response I received seemed to be that they were "ready to handle the criticism..." So with that said, I can assure you that there were no delusions on their part. They fully expected a backlash and seemed to be welcoming it.
As for throwing stones... Unlike Stan, I have been seen posing with attractive women at every opportunity that has arisen, throughout my professional career... I take full responsibility for such scenarios, welcomed them in the past and welcome them in the future. The booth babes I have run into at conventions did not have to work very hard to get me in a photo with them.
Let me just state for the record that I like women... I love my mother, sisters, daughters and generally find working with and socializing with women to be one of the greatest parts of my life. I like plenty of women that will never be on a calendar of hired to be booth bait... But, I like the women who pose for calendars and the women who get jobs working at car shows and conventions as well... Mostly, because there have been some women that I did not like... And, plenty of men.
Ralph, at the risk of more generalizations, you were asked for a clarification by me. Sorry CarDoll took their CarDoll and went home. I won't miss them a bit. Wouldn't have paid attention to it were it not for your blog.
Thanks Manny, for your support.
Manny, your last quote just about sums it all up for me... Thank you for posting your responses and opinions. They were a refreshing break from the chorus line.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone here know of a dealer who used her / them for training? Generating viral buzz (which sure as hell has happened here), and even getting contracted by a dealership or group for training are one thing.
But based on some of the print AND video content I have seen from them, I'm not sure too many people in the business more than a year would take it too seriously. A few quick observations:
I am the first person to admire creativity. Sex definitely sells - unless the sex actually distracts from the message. I wish them all the success they can achieve. But I will add one thing...I find an attractive and confident woman in a business suit who is articulate MUCH more appealing than a woman who depends on gratuitous T&A to get attention. SURE, the T&A will grab my attention for a moment, but the business suit will keep my interest. But that's just me.
Very interesting points and very well said.
Tom, you may be one of the few people who might be able to understand this... I am not sure The CarDoll was ever trying to actually sign up any dealers. I am not saying I understand what happened, but there seems to be more than meets the eye when it comes to The CarDoll and I am not convinced that enrolling dealers was their primary objective.
I am starting to feel like one of the natives on some of those National Geographic TV specials after the anthropologists leave the village.
Criss, I miss you on here.
Always classy. Much appreciated!