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...
Thank you, Ralph. Well said.
Very well written. I am also very opinionated but I agree there is no need to show hate to "The CarDoll". There is so much business out there for everyone. Let them thrive and whoever is interested in this kind of service, "good for them". I do not particularly agree with everything they are doing and how they are doing it but if they are happy, profitable, and successful, I wish them well. Ted has reached out to me recently and given me support. I will give my respects in the same fashion. Go out and be all that you can be and do not let the haters get in the way. I know I got my own haters out there somewhere and people that talk about me and criticize me while others like Ralph, Jim Ziegler, Brian Pasch, and others see me for what I am all about and have given me the chance to prove myself. At the end of the day, everyone deserve a fair chance.
I've certainly been critical of CarDoll (not Jamie Lynn herself.. the concept) and have written about it. I dont agree with the methodology or teaching methods and think it's a step backwards, personally. I think that sexualizing any kind of training is wrong, personally. If a person who is interested in professional development will only do it because it's a pretty woman (or man) teaching it, then they are doing it for the wrong reasons. Back when I wrote the articles, I did reach out to Ted, and promptly got blocked from everything. That being said, not being a fan of strip clubs doesnt mean that they dont exist or have people interested in them (and just to clarify, I'm not equating CarDoll to a strip club). That being said, if that's the type of training (and business) they want to run, it's a free country and they can. I dont think badly of Jamie Lynn or Ted.. heck, I dont even know them. I just dont agree with their "service". It's not personal and I don't want to punch anyone in the face (i dont know who said that but that's just wrong). My opinions can still be found and they haven't changed. I just don't find it professional and it's hard to see any dealer signing up that actually knows what theyre signing up for. It's hard to believe that, should a business offer that service as a training program to their employees, that there might not be legal issues arise. That's just my 2 cents though.
Arnold, thank you for a well written response... Most of your meaning and opinions are not out of alignment with my own. Including your comment about dealer groups signing up for the CarDoll. The one issue you raised which I believe is way off base is the legal one.
I only bring up the legal one in the sense that, should a dealership sign up for CarDoll, and offer it to their sales force as "training" material, there might be some offended female employees and it "could" raise harassment issues. I'm not a lawyer though. Just something that came to mind and I think might have raised in a previous conversation about this by someone who is more on the legal side of the industry.
Arnold, there is a precision in your response that shouldn't be ignored. The car business has "sexual harassment" targets all over it. Part of that is "hostile work environment". It's not a judgement that this IS going to cause that to say that it MIGHT cause that. Hence the precision. Thanks.
Well said Arnold... You also bring to mind some of the techniques used by male trainers in the auto industry that could be perceived as "hostile" by certain dealership employees. It is interesting to note that over 80% of all sexual harrassment lawsuits brought against car dealers over the past ten years have been originated by female employees in non-managerial positions who directly interact with the sales department. This was explained to me by an attorney in Phoenix who has represented car dealers in many different states. As far as i know, there has never been a case brought against a dealer based on outside trainer actions or methodology. In most cases there needs to be a supervisor/subordinate relationship in order for a lawsuit to have any merit... Otherwise, think about what customers say to employees and the fact that those customers were invited to the dealership by the dealer.
Ralph, I experienced this first hand. Trainer brought to one of the tech companies I worked for. Fortune 50. Trainer was teaching public speaking, and he used a training video of a girl in a bikini with a suggestive script first followed by product script second in order to explain how distracting OR amplifying dress can be when speaking. No lawsuit, but manager was disciplined for bringing in the trainer. Other things tell me this is uncharted waters for the car business--I'd like to know what Jim Radogna thinks of Arnold's point, actually. Thanks.
I am sure the reprimand was well intended and appropriate... Regarding qualified opinions, I will reach out to an actual attorney specializing in such matters. Unless the opinion comes from a licensed attorney specializing in workplace harassment, it is no more qualified than those of us who have spent time on the witness stand as an expert witness on customs and practices in the auto industry, or have worked with attorneys defending car dealers from such actions.
I just submitted my request for AMP Legal Counsel to research the issues around dealer liability relative to hiring trainers such as "The CarDoll". I also authorized the outsourcing to a legal specialist in such matters so as to get a more qualified opinion. The issue seems important enough to invest advertising revenue in getting an actual qualified legal opinion.
Keith, I would also like Jim Radogna's view. A most respected opinion for me.