Despite Ford's mostly successful efforts to yank its product line along by the earlobes, it still needs to find cost savings. To that end, the advertising arms of the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions have been combined, bucking the traditional Balkanization in the marketing wing.
Ford traditionally maintained separate sales and marketing groups, though a single person did serve as brand overlord for all three. Now, the marketing and sales efforts will be by product type, rather than brand, so the Edge team will also shill the MKX, for example. To execute this change, a game of musical chairs has been going on, with Brett Wheatley moving from general manager for Lincoln-Mercury to the customer incentives group, Lincoln brand manager Tom Grill will be joining the global marketing group, while global media manager for Ford, Mark Kaline, has separated from the Blue Oval. This deck shuffling may wind up with a good marketing hand, or it could be a whole bunch of worthless cards.