I Want My SUV

New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher's new book "High and Mighty -- SUVs: The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way" hit bookstores September 17. Yet before its release, reporters began receiving a 15-page memo titled "SUV Allegations and Facts." According to the Corporate Crime Reporter the memo "seeks to mislead reporters with quotes taken out of context." The source of the attack memo is Washington DC-based PR firm Strat@comm, which counts as clients DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, and a number of auto industry trade groups. Strat@comm says it got involved because Bradsher's book mentioned two of the company's principles: Diane Steed and Jason Vines. "We take the book personally," Strat@comm told the Corporate Crime Reporter. Steed started "the industry's main fake grassroots group" Coalition for Vehicle Choice to "defeat fuel economy standards." Vines is a former Ford communications head. According to PR Week, the Detroit Free Press reported that Strat@comm was working for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to rebut Bradsher's book. "We've been monitoring this situation for some time," Strat@comm's Vines told PR Week, "and merely provided a report to the Alliance detailing the facts about SUVs." He said that Strat@comm was not contacting auto writers -- only providing information when asked.