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dow jones

Feb. 8, 2010


Battered by the recalled of eight million of its cars for faulty accelerator pedals, Toyota has hired Democratic powerhouse firm Glover Park Group to deal with its image mess.

GPG is the firm of Joe Lockhart, President Clinton’s former speechwriter, and Carter Eskew, chief strategist to Al Gore’s Presidential run.

The GPG hiring comes as Members of Congress promise lengthy probes into the Japanese automaker’s safety record.

Toyota management reportedly frets that the company may face a U.S. backlash as “payback” for the woes of Detroit’s Big Three carmakers.

As previously reported, Toyota has already reached out to Robinson Lerer & Montgomery, a WPP unit, for crisis work. The Associated Press also reported that the company hired Quinn Gillespie & Associates in D.C.

It may take another blow to its reputation with the anticipated recall of its environmentally acclaimed Prius hybrid models.

U.S. officials are looking to complaints from Prius drivers about unable to stop their vehicles while driving on rough surfaces.

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Chicago PR Guy (2/08):
Didn't you just have a story about RLM was handling this? Is Glover Park an additional firm or are they replacing RLM? This is a fiasco that's only growing.

Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (2/08):
This of course is a two-sided sword for the Ford and GMC operations looking to make hay over Toyota's situation. Out of milions and millions of Toyotas on the roads, there have indeed been more than a few problems. One has to wonder if Toyota's professionals will likewise seek out similar statistics for the GM and Ford folks as well...and somewhere in the dim past...there seem to have been. If these are unearthed, the auto and legislative media will have much fun. Rememgber: there were more than beauty reasons and union factory workers why those American manufacturers could not sell their cars against foreign competition.

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