A couple of weeks ago on the heels of Ford's appearance before some Congressional committees, I had to deal with a major firestorm online.
In short, the issue was that there was a Ford fansite called TheRangerStation.com that received a cease & desist letter from Ford, and the owner posted that Ford was asking for $5,000 and the URL to be turned over. It turns out there was much more to the story. The owner was selling counterfeit Ford goods, and together, we reached a reasonable solution to the situation.
Ron Ploof, a B-to-B social media consultant, has created a completely masterful case study of what happened here. I'll leave it to him to set it up, tell the story, and draw out the lessons, here in this Scribd document.
Feel free to embed it, share it, rate it, etc.
The Ranger Station Fire
In the end, it's created a point of conversation for us internally (and externally, I might add). I've committed to creating a more fluid conversation between Ford's Communications area and Office of General Counsel, so we don't run into these surprise situations again. We'll still need to protect the brand and our licensees, but if we can work with enthusiast sites, we'll be in a much better place.
Interview on For Immediate Release
Real-time review of the day's events on Voltage Blog
Left the Box's assessment
What are your thoughts? Would you have done anything differently?
Photo credit: Woman of Scorn