The following is a statement from Rick Menapace, the president and creative director of The Plummer Menapace Group, Arai’s marketing and advertising firm, in response to the article “Leaked docs show Motorcyclist caved to advertiser pressure, fired editor.” It’s unedited and unaltered with the exception of minor formatting changes. – Ed. >
Arai Helmets states, unequivocally, that we had absolutely nothing to do with the dismissal of Dexter Ford. Nothing. Not directly or indirectly, actively or passively, by “threat” or innuendo.
In our opinion this matter is an internal one at Source Interlink and Motorcyclist, and has been since the beginning. To say that Arai is involved, or worse that we are the reason it happened, is simply not true! And to the best of our knowledge, the same applies to Shoei.
To suggest that we “threatened” to pull our ads unless Mr. Ford was fired for his New York Times article implies that we actually thought we had the horsepower to succeed. Sorry, but that presumes a level of arrogance and ego that nobody in this industry would attribute to Arai. Further, if any company could actually get an editor fired for writing something they didn’t like, there wouldn’t be any editors left at any publication on the planet..
Most compelling, though, is the fact that Arai not only advertised in Motorcyclist, but we also advertised on the Motorcyclist website where–and while–Mr. Ford’s original article has continued to run! An article whose content we continue to disagree with. Why would we advertise in the place where the story appears, but then “threaten” to pull our ads unless the editor is fired for publishing a rehash of it in another publication completely out of their control? Are we missing something here? Yet somebody wants you to believe it.
We could go on, but ask only why Hell For Leather saw no reason to contact Arai, or Shoei, to see if there was another side to the story before running such a sensational and misleading article, based on hearsay, that accuses us of something for which we are absolutely innocent. Period. We were under the impression that fact-checking is part of the editorial process.
In closing, please let me add a personal note: What a shame that a man like Mr. Arai, who has sacrificed sales rather than compromise his integrity and obsession with rider protection and safety, who has over 50 years of personal involvement in helmet design and construction in the constant search to build the best helmets his company can create, a company with his family name on its helmets, finds this company accused of something that wouldn’t even enter his mind. How disappointing this is for him.
Thank you for your consideration of this side of the story.