It's a well-known marketing maxim that word-of-mouth advertising is the best you can get. That's because even if consumers are skeptical about ads and commercials, they value -- and trust -- the real-life testimonials of their friends and neighbors.
That's especially true for Americans. We know we can look someone in the eye, shake his hand and flawlessly judge his character. Using these tools and a little good, old-fashioned prairie intuition, we can certainly determine if he's telling the truth, especially if he's passionate about something.
After all, that special God-given ability is the bedrock foundation of important time-tested American icons such as trial by a jury of one's peers, congressional elections and the old "What's My Line?" TV program.
That's why it's impressive that a survey of people in 31 countries found that three automotive brands get the strongest worth-of-mouth recommendations among any of the 43 various consumer brands studied. And a fourth automotive brand placed ninth.
Apparently a lot of folks are saying nice things about their cars and trucks.
Leading all global brands was Mercedes-Benz, followed by BMW and Toyota, according to the New York consulting firm, NOP World.
Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Nokia, Sony, Estee Lauder, Lancome, Clinique, Ford and Nike.
It just shows that people the world over like to smell good, look good and be entertained while they drive.
You may e-mail Edward Lapham at