Ford to use union actors outside U.S.

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Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., reversed its policy of early June not to shoot commercials during the actors strike and is again making new TV ads--but is shooting them outside the U.S. using union talent. Ford Division, the automaker's biggest volume unit, is shooting commercials in Canada and Mexico. J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, handles. Most of that advertising is for regional dealer groups and in some cases has no actors. A Ford spokesman said the carmaker has informed the United Auto Workers union, whose members make its cars and trucks, of its decision. Because of its parent's earlier decision, Ford Division recently launched its all-new Escape sport-utility vehicle with an all-print push. Ford's Volvo Cars of North America will launch its all-new S60 sedan on the Internet Oct. 15 in a promotion with America Online. Bob Austin, director of marketing communications at Volvo, said the online launch would have been done with or without the actors strike because the target is Web-savvy 35-to-38-year-olds. He also said Volvo wasn't affected by Ford's edict not to cross the picket line since Volvo Car Corp., its immediate parent, is based in Sweden.

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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