The company will have to embark on some serious brand rehab.
Ford South Africa has a PR crisis on its hands, but the company leadership is nowhere to be seen.
"We are the guardians of the game. It's the right decision to protect the integrity of the FA," said FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn on the in-house FA TV channel, and to their credit, the governing body have dealt with this sorry affair impeccably.
In his days as corporate affairs director at Carlton Television, David Cameron would doubtless have advised that the cover-up is always more damaging than the original sin of omission.. Mr Cameron said he had "nothing to hide". To which, the obvious response is: 'Why not tell us in the first place?'
It has been proven through a number of cases, that a crisis is better addressed by a company on the collective level rather than the individual, in the case that a specific individual doesn't have to be held responsible.
Today's news environment is different from that faced by the generation that wrote the original crisis comms rulebook; social media are becoming more dominant, driven by the increasing accessibility of cheap smartphones globally.
Warren Buffett isn't often wrong. Yet he was when he said: 'It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.' Most reputations are severely damaged because an organisation has failed over many years to operationally live up to the high expectations set by their PR and marketing activity.
Crisis communications, whether political or corporate, have changed massively in recent years. Twenty-four hour rolling news, blogs and now Twitter mean that speed is critical, and leaving a vacuum - even for a few hours - can see a story escalate rapidly beyond manageable means.