It's a classic tit-for-tat. In a move that is nothing short of an act of reprisal, GM announced today that it will indefinitely suspend advertising in Los Angeles Times. GM cited "factual errors and misrepresentation" for its decision.
The move comes two days after an LA Times columnist criticized the auto-maker for pushing its gas-guzzling SUVs rather than investing in hybrid technologies. Perhaps the columnist went too far by calling for the impeachment of two GM executives, but GM's action is just plain childish.
It's a free press. People express a lot of opinions about a lot of subjects. Some may get a bit scathing, others a bit risqué perhaps, but advertisers should take criticism in stride and understand that the separation between the editorial and advertising departments is what keeps a publication vibrant. An uncontaminated editorial process can only help the credibility of its publication which leads to more interested readers which in turn translates to more eyeballs seeing the ads.
If GM hadn't jumped the gun, they could have used their advertising space to subtly challenge the columnist's position. Instead they decided on this immature action, possibly handing the columnist even more credibility.