Southeast Toyota, which is the largest franchised distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world with 173 dealers in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina & South Carolina, has reportedly pulled all of its advertising from local ABC stations. Why? Apparently, the group decided that the television stations were airing "excessive stories on the Toyota issues" by ABC News and its chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.

So, where is all that latent advertising money going now? According to one unnamed ABC station manager, Southeast Toyota's commercials were shifted to non-ABC stations "as punishment for the reporting." We have to wonder if those non-ABC stations aren't covering the Toyota recall issue with as much fervor?

Marcia Owens-Reder, senior vice president at Atlanta-based 22Squared, the advertising agency that handles the account for the dealers, said in an email to the ABC stations, "We have counseled the client on the pros and cons of this, and ultimately it was their decision to make." Thanks for the tip, Rene!

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[Source: AFP via Yahoo | Image: David McNew/Getty]

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