Are trade secrets a thing of the past?

To the Editor:

One has to read only one issue of Automotive News to wonder whether the famous adage "Does Macy's tell Gimbels?" has any credible application in today's world.

Automotive advertising agencies are bouncing back and forth like a squash ball.

And there must be unlimited closets full of advertising and marketing skeletons; the bones are simply lying around for future clients to pick over.

Not to mention the executive musical chairs whereby Korean-trained Americans are attempting to restructure General Motors marketing — whatever happened to noncomplete clauses?

Then we have a GM-SAIC Motors Corp. joint venture to develop small engines and transmissions. Lord knows to which corners of the Earth GM's technical input will be dispersed.

Given the cross-pollination of suppliers, ad agencies and automakers' personnel, is the term "automotive industrial espionage" still part of the lexicon?

Or is the global automotive industry comparable to the sporting world, whereby team owners with the biggest budgets can buy the winningest scenario?

I guess secrets are now a thing of the past.

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