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General Motors’ latest ad campaign running in college newspapers throughout the country urges students to ‘Stop pedaling…start driving.’
The newspaper ad features a guy on a bike ashamed that his “reality” involves riding a bike while a cute girl drives by in a car. “Reality Sucks,” says the campaign, “Luckily the GM college discount doesn’t.” GM’s website continues the mockery of active transportation by featuring a woman on the sidewalk being sprayed by a passing GM vehicle.
An image of the ad was sent to me by a source who saw it in the UCLA Daily Bruin newspaper. The source is a professor at UCLA and he included this note (emphasis mine):
“Not only has GM violated the norms of decency with the use of this crudity in a student newspaper, UCLA’s Daily Bruin, it has violated the decency and courtesy appropriate of a debtor. GM, the company that required us taxpayers to bail it out in 2009, is now biting the young people who bear and will bear the environment and health damage of its gas swilling ways. While every driver in LA knows that the reality which truly “sucks” is the grid-locked, car-loaded, obesity-enhancing, stress-generating car-toxicity of simple commuting in this region. The company that helped destroy public transit in Los Angeles is now running a campaign to convince students who travel by environment-, fitness-, and efficiency-friendly bicycles that they are inferior to those who travel in highly discounted mini-trucks. Shameless, isn’t it?”
Yep. Shameless. But just more of the same from the auto industry.
UPDATE: GM has apologized profusely via Twitter. They say they are working on changes to the ad and that they didn’t mean to offend anyone.
UPDATE, 10/12 8:30 am: The L.A. Times reports that GM has decided to pull the ad.