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Toyota – Slow with Safety; Quick with Petty Retribution

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In an outrageous move, Toyota has pulled its commercials off of ABC affiliate stations in five southeastern states, as punishment for ABC airing what Toyota has called “excessive stories on the Toyota issues.”

According to Toyota, ABC provided too much news coverage about its recent recalls and safety problems, which started with sticking accelerators in a number of models and have now expanded to unresponsive brakes in the 2010 Prius.

The shift of commercials away from ABC affiliates was ordered last week, according to Marcia Owens-Reder, senior vice-president at 22Squared, the Atlanta advertising agency that handles the account for the dealers, known as Southeast Toyota.

Reder said she "tried" to talk the dealers out of the move. "We have counseled the client on the pros and cons of this, and ultimately it was their decision to make," read an e-mail sent to the stations from the agency last week.

"Please let me know the earliest that we can get off the air on your station," the message concluded. –ABC News

Considering how appallingly slow Toyota has been at addressing its latest safety issues (it knew about the braking problem on the Prius as early as summer 2009, but said nothing to the public), this company sure is quick to get offended and exact revenge against ABC for doing its job and reporting the news.