OMC allegedly hit back in the mid-1950s by organizing a smear campaign, coining the slogan, "Mercurys are fast, but won't last." Supposedly, dealers were told to spread stories that Mercurys required special fuel, oil, tools, and highly trained mechanics to stay running. Or that Kiekhaefer was broke or crazy. Or that "Mercurys are built in a barn, if you don't believe it, remove a spark plug and smell it." Everyone had heard the rumors, but no one knew where they came from.