Company Representatives on Discussion Forums

So here is a question I pose to you, is it bad for an industry forum to have company representatives talk to the forum users.  For example, let’s take an automotive forum and let’s say someone from Ford decided to join and their purpose for joining was simply to see what comments might be out there about the company, what kinds of complaints people might be having and to simply answer any questions that might be posed.  And let’s say, this rep goes by the name of Fred from Ford.

Is it bad to have these kinds of people on forums?  My reason for asking this is that I am on a number of forums and have been welcomed by the users but have some times been shunned by the administrators.  They think that I am on there to push our company’s product,s which is not the case at all.  Overall I’ve had a great experience but how would you feel if a rep from a company whose products you buy al the time appeared on a forum and actually answered a question you had?  I would feel pretty damn awesome!

What did you do today?

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