Two days ago, Shelby American sent out the press kit for the new Shelby 1000 to reporters around the world. In it was this photograph that demonstrated the incredible accelerative powers of this 950 horsepower beast.
When an editor at USA Today challenged the authenticity of the photo, Gary Patterson, Shelby American VP, came clean admitting it was fake.
And now at the car's debut at the New York Auto Show, the story won't be about how fast this $200,000 limited edition Mustang is, it will be about the picture.
Shelby and Ford lost a great opportunity to continue to build momentum for their brands because they broke the one unbreakable rule of marketing:
Don't ever, ever, ever lie.