NanoBot Media News


Dec. 10, 2008

For Immediate Release
Howard Lovy
NanoBot Media

Update: Fox 2 News in Detroit covered the story. Watch it here.
On Local 4: covered the story, too. Read it here.
The Promise: Sign it online here and get your free coffee.

Detroit Area Cafe Bails Out Big Three With Free Coffee

AJ's Offers A Cup For Customers Who Promise To Buy American Cars

FERNDALE, Mich., Dec. 10, 2008 -- As Washington debates bailing out the Big Three, a Detroit-area coffee shop is helping to keep Motown moving by offering a free cup of coffee for every customer who promises to buy an American car.

The "I Promise" campaign at AJ's Music Cafe in downtown Ferndale is owner AJ O'Neil's way of telling America that Detroiters believe the domestic auto industry is worth saving.

"There's a lot of talk in Washington about what Detroit does or does not deserve in handouts from American taxpayers," O'Neil said. "Well, here on Main Street in Detroit, we believe in the products we make and we're willing to pledge to America that we will help the car companies survive and repay every penny."

O'Neil, who has been invited to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama, said the "I Promise" campaign is an answer to the president-elect's own words: "We know the government can't solve every problem."

So, in addition to the $15 billion to be chipped in by the U.S. government, the "I Promise" campaign is meant to assure the Big Three that their grass-roots customers stand ready to support them as well.

But O'Neil warned that the promise does not give the automakers a blank check. It implies a responsibility on their part, too.

"We also understand that it is imperative that they remember that they have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers to build, safe, attractive, technologically advanced, environmentally responsible vehicles," O'Neil said. "Our promise, for that understanding, is to stand behind you and buy your product."

O'Neil reports that he has already seen the merits of the campaign, launched on Tuesday.

"So far, just this morning, I was able to see a customer become convinced to buy a Chrysler, instead of a Toyota," he said. "Another signer stated that she would be satisfied to buy an American car if the automakers held up their part of the bargain.

"I hope, I hope I run out of coffee! If i start to get low, I'll be looking for a bailout by the Big Three!"

O'Neil is also a playwright and community activist who has a knack for drawing the community together. He made headlines worldwide last March when he hosted a 50-hour "Danny Boy" marathon that brought prominent politicians, including Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, to his coffee shop stage.

O'Neil is planning to repeat the "Danny Boy" marathon next spring and is scheduled to release a book in February 2009 about how the event came together.

AJ's Music Cafe is located at 240 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale, Mich. You can call O'Neil at 248-399-3946 or e-mail him at