From the Canadian press this week:
GM pulls 'weirdo' ads
General Motors Canada has pulled an ad campaign suggesting that transit
buses are full of "creeps and weirdos."
The company was responding to a flood of complaints about an advertisement
that ran in last week's Georgia Straight touting the Chevy Cavalier as
"an affordable alternative" to riding the bus.
Other ads in the campaign, which featured pictures of buses with messages
in their destination cards, suggested that riding the bus exposed you to
"Hours of Hell" and "Bacterial Stew."
Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, who is also chairman of TransLink, the
company that runs the transit system, fired off a letter of protest to GM.
He called the ads "disgusting."
"It's a pretty offensive ad," said Marion Town of Better Environmentally
She said the ads suggest that "not only is the bus experience threatening,
but it's long."
Both she and McCallum noticed that the ads promoted GM's support
for Vancouver's 2010 Olympic bid -- which favours effective and
environmentally sustainable transportation like buses.
The ads, which also ran in the student newspapers at Langara College,
Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, also drew the
ire of transit industry representatives currently meeting in Vancouver
to create a national voluntary certification program for bus drivers.
Among those firing back at GM were the Amalgamated Transit Union,
the Motor Carrier Passenger Council of Canada and the Canadian Urban
The B.C. Automobile Association was not amused, either.
"Obviously, we're disappointed to see an auto manufacturer take this
type of approach," said BCAA spokesman Trace Acres.
"We honestly believe people need to have a range of transportation
choices," he said. "This doesn't present those options in a positive
GM did not respond to a request for an interview.
I wonder if this means that the big automakers are starting to feel
threatened by public demand for better transit?
:De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
:Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins :
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