Shock jock Howard Stern could help sell a lot of cars and trucks.
No, it's not likely that an automaker or any brands would consider using Stern as a spokesman.
But Stern, who has been fined by the FCC for the provocative content of his radio program, will be paid $500 million to move his show exclusively to Sirius Satellite Radio beginning in 2006. And Ford Motor Co. has made Sirius a factory-installed option on several models, beginning in a couple of years.
Until now, Sirius has been a dealer-installed option at Ford. Sirius also is available on vehicles sold by the Chrysler group, Volkswagen of America, Porsche, BMW and Nissan North America.
Ford's move happened less than two weeks after Stern's hookup with Sirius.
It must be a coincidence, eh?
Remember the uproar when Dodge planned to sponsor the Lingerie Bowl on pay TV during halftime of the Super Bowl? Stern's schtick on satellite radio -- which doesn't have the same content restrictions as broadcast radio -- probably will make the Lingerie Bowl will look like a Sunday School skit.
That's not usually the kind of reputation you want linked with your brand. But if some customers want to buy a Ford or a Nissan or a BMW just because they can get Sirius and listen to Stern, what's wrong with that?
Until now, General Motors has had the upper hand in the satellite radio game because of its relationship with XM Satellite Radio.
The Stern thing comes under the heading of buzz. And that could be one heck of a competitive advantage.
Just don't expect to see any grip-and-grin photos of Howard Stern with Bill Ford ... no matter how many vehicles he sells.