The Worst Kind of a Good Thing

Mark Oberholtzer traded in his old Ford with his company’s name and logo on the side for something a little bit bigger and better. He needed something that would actually get his business moving. The tinier Ford didn’t do it for him but it was just fine for those cowards in Syria.

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He was not okay with this bad publicity. A Texas plumber whose branded truck somehow ended up in an ISIS propaganda video last year, as a literal vehicle of terror, filed a $1 million lawsuit last week against the Ford dealer who first bought the car from him. The suit from Mark Oberholtzer, of Texas City, doesn’t accuse Houston’s AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway of trading the truck to terrorists directly. Rather, it says the dealer didn’t follow through on promises to remove the truck’s decal for Oberholtzer’s Mark-1 Plumbing company — which is clearly seen in the ISIS video, giving this small businessman the worst free advertising imaginable. While waiting for the deal to seal in 2013, Oberholtzer started removing the decal himself, but a salesman told him to stop and just let the dealership take care of it, the suit says. The truck rose to infamy when a jihadist tweeted a picture in December 2014 showing ISIS fighters firing an anti-aircraft gun in Syria — from the back of the plumber’s clearly labelled car, which even had his company’s phone number. Oberholtzer was immediately mistaken for an ISIS sympathizer and flooded with more than 1,000 phone calls, most of them harassing or threatening him, the suit says. It’s still unclear how the plumber’s truck made its way to ISIS. The truck was imported to Mersin, Turkey in December 2013, just a couple months after its initial sale, but its path from there is unclear, the suit says.

This isn’t propaganda, it’s just kinda funny. Oberholtzer is still dealing with the mess as well as the publicity of it being shown on the Colbert Report. It’s been viewed over 2 million times and few more as of today. Hopefully Oberholtzer gets a few bucks out of the deal and maybe some more business…

Independent article – 12/12/2015
Original discovery – 11/12/2015

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