Olivier Francois, President and Chief Executive Officer - Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC and Lancia Brand, Fiat Group Automobiles, submitted the following letter to the editor to AdvertisingAge in response to an article published Dec. 3, 2009:
Today we at Chrysler discovered that an act of social responsibility, running a film letting Americans know that the freedom of a Nobel laureate is currently being denied in Burma, was portrayed in Ad Age as a potential affront to taxpayers here. We’d like to set the record straight and have your readers draw their own conclusions.
First, this film was created by Lancia’s Italian ad agency. For efficiencies, it was then re-worked for Chrysler. This was also not Chrysler “hiring” the agency, and in fact neither the agency nor the leadership of Nobel, nor the other Nobel Prize winners in the film charged us even a penny for it. The only costs were actually spent here in the US, to two companies to coordinate and manage the trafficking of this film.
Second, this was a one-time execution with the Italian agency, as we informed the reporter before she wrote the story.
In fact, we have hired Fallon of Minneapolis to be Chrysler Brand’s official ad agency, and they are presently developing new commercials to start airing this year.
Hopefully we can enjoy the freedom of having your readers in a democratic society decide for themselves if they should be upset, or whether we instead exercised fiscal responsibility in producing this important film.
President and Chief Executive Officer - Chrysler Brand, Chrysler Group LLC and Lancia Brand, Fiat Group Automobiles