Ford orders employees to cancel subscriptions

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Dearborn, Mich.--Ford Motor Co. is ordering all worldwide employees to cancel company-paid magazine and newspaper subscriptions, BtoB sister publication Advertising Age reported Monday.

The edict, issued in a memo last week from Ford CFO Don Leclair, came as Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company’s credit rating, and represents a potentially devastating blow to many embattled publishers.

Employees were instructed to end subscriptions by Nov. 30 and seek a refund for any balance.

A Ford spokesman estimated savings from the move in the millions of dollars. The automaker’s public affairs’ staff, which the spokesman estimated holds a couple of hundred subscriptions globally, is exempt.

Jim Watt, chairman of American Business Media and chairman of Watt Publishing, said he was “floored” to learn about Ford’s move. “I don’t ever recall a major company putting out a memo like that.” But he speculated ABM’s members would not feel a big impact because he believes most have controlled circulation.

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