In Chatom, Alabama, one Ford dealer came up with a particularly unique incentive to get people to buy from his lot. He was offering customers a free shotgun, Bible, and American flag with each purchase.
Brian Demarco, a South Alabama resident, told Fox10 “My first impression was only in Alabama would you see something like this. A gun, a Bible and an American Flag given away if you buy a pickup truck.”
The Facebook post quickly went viral, and comments started pouring in. Just as soon as the campaign started, it came to an end. The initial post had stated that the promotion would run for five weeks. However, three days later, it was pulled.
According to the dealer, Ford Motor Company asked the dealer to end this promotion. Ford was apparently not comfortable with the dealership handing out free guns.
Colby Palmer, the dealer, told Fox10, “We had no idea it was going to spread outside our little bubble of South Alabama.”
Not everyone shared Ford Company’s concerns, especially the South Alabama residents.
Hannah Willis was not pleased with the news, and said, “I think that’s kind of unfortunate. A little over stepping I guess.”
Demarco added, “It is lose, lose whatever way you go. Somebody is going to get their feelings hurt because of it.”
After pulling the first promotion, the dealership replaced it with another one just hours later. This time, no guns were offered. The Facebook ad read; “We're going to give away a Bible, an American Flag and a gift certificate to use wherever you want for whatever you want.”
The dealership dropped the free gun and replaced it with a $200 gift certificate. They called it the Bible, American flag, and glory promotion.
“If it's just because we're afraid they're going to hurt somebody's feelings, or somebody is going to get upset well then maybe that's going down a slippery slope at that point,” Brian Demarco concluded.
Ford Motor Company could not be reached for comment.