Ford Motors had a bit of a mishap when an ad they apparently didn’t intend anyone to see got seen — big time. The ad is a cartoon depiction of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian gagged and bound in a Ford trunk. The ad upset a lot of people on the basis that it, you know, shows women gagged and bound in a truck to sell a car. Being a fan of the Kardashians or not shouldn’t have anything to do with it. They used a similar design to depict Berlusconi, who, just to remind you, was charged in Italy for having sex with a minor.

Some of our readers were upset by the ad. Some weren’t. Those who were sent letters to Ford letting them know. And they got a response! And not from a bunch of Mad Men. Here’s Ford said:

Hackneyed statement alert, but it’s SO TRUE: We have the power to make our voices heard! I’m so proud of our readers for going there. This part isn’t about whether you think the ad is offensive or not; if you liked it or not; this part is about realizing that we don’t have to have media thrown at us without offering a response back.

Here’s what you do when you disagree with something that a company is doing.

1. Raise awareness.
2. Write an email or a letter. Explain what your issues and concerns are in a calm, clear, and concise way. You can write angry but don’t send angry. Sit on it for a few hours if necessary. Don’t use words like “hate” and don’t curse.
3. Have someone proofread it.
4. Be fearless.
5. Be creative. If you can’t find a customer support email, phone number, or address, do some Googling. I’ve found things by Googling ______ + customer support email and have found the answer in discussion forums.
6. No whining.
7. Don’t forget about Twitter. Using Twitter can be a very effective way to reach companies. Most corporations have Twitter by now.

Go forth. It’s worth it!