More MBS Coverage TRAVERSE CITY, MI – Ford Motor Co. is spending $2 million to burnish its image with its first corporate advertising campaign in nearly four years.

The campaign, which debuts today with newspaper ads in select cities, will run through September. Magazine and radio ads will follow later this month, a spokesman tells Ward's.

The new message touts Ford as a leader in hybrid technology, stressing the five hybrids it will have on the road by 2008 are American in origin, with engineering and manufacturing in the U.S.

With the attention some competitors have generated for hybrid leadership, the spokesman says it is time for Ford to send the message it is aggressively in the game, as well, with more than 100 patent applications in place and more to come.

β€œIt's important to let people know what the Blue Oval stands for,” the spokesman says, noting advertising up to now has been focused on product and price.

The last corporate campaign was in late 2001, in the form of chats with Chairman Bill Ford Jr. about the heritage of the family business.

The new ads are running in Detroit, Washington, New York, Chicago, Kansas City and parts of California.

Many corporate campaigns have been launched this year, including foreign auto makers stressing their commitment to the U.S., where their manufacturing footprint has grown.

apriddle@primediabusiness.com