• Feb 16, 2007
Volkswagen has the spine that GM hasn't shown recently to overly touchy advocacy groups. No stranger to commercials that spark conversation, the company has no plans to pull a new commercial that shows a suicidal jumper change his mind on a ledge after learning there are now three V-dubs available under $17,000. This time it's Suicide Prevention Network USA that has lobbied Volkswagen directly to reconsider airing the commercial titled "Jumper." GM's new buddies, the American Federation for Suicide Prevention, along with the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness have also piled on in the effort to remove any vestige of humor, personality or edge from advertising. VW should have run a spot with someone getting their teeth kicked in if they wanted to avoid controversy.

Thanks for the tip, Jay!

[Source: USA Today]

Again, there isn't anything funny about suicide, but there's this thing called dark humor. Some of our favorite comedians have material that makes these spots look like nursery rhymes. When all the life is scrubbed from media by advocacy groups, we'll all want to jump. Wouldn't the efforts of these groups be better spent actually doing something useful for their cause? We understand the need to get their message out, but attempting strong-arm tactics against fairly innocuous material isn't the way to win friends and influence people. Of course, VW and GM may have seen a bounce from all the controversy, anyway. Rest assured that neither company intended to offend or ridicule anyone, but with all the controversy, there's lots of folks seeking out these commercials to see what all the fuss is about. As a matter of fact, "Jumper" has already been pulled off of YouTube for unknown reasons. That means people out there are voluntarily trying to watch a commercial, those things we skip over and program our TiVos to nuke. Maybe they're on to something after all.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      No we no longer have free speech. Yet hate groups and street gangs are legal. The right to assemble in a bad way is permissible.
      Merry Christmas oh thats offensive.
      TheoM
      • 7 Years Ago
      I gueass this means that "It's a Wonderful Life" should never be shown again because it was nothing but a series of small events that made the guy want to live...this is stupid...the fact is that each person has their OWN reasons for deciding something is important, and if VW wants to use that fact in a humourous way to sell a product, then more power to them...More people probably jump because of a bad romance or ruined finaces than anything else, so I guess we should never portray either of those on TV...GROW A PAIR and run the spot Volkswagen!
      • 7 Years Ago
      So according to the "sages" at autoblog, personality and edge now include making fun of debilitating mental illness? good job, assholes. i wonder if you would change your mind if someone you cared about committed suicide.

      Free speech is not the issue here. its being sensitive to your customers. everyone would be up in arms about an ad that made fun of mentally challenged people, and this is no different.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not to make less of suicide but it is most often a senselessly selfish act and although the ends are morbid it definitely warrants the humor from both of these commercials. I mean come on, the guy wants to jump but then doesn't because of a base model car price before taxes? Now that's funny! The point is there's always something to live for, because even the littlest things (or in this case not so little) can make you happy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM shouldn't have pulled the ad. They shoulda told the suicide group to pound sand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW announced that they are pulling this ad yesterday (2/15).
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The point is there's always something to live for, because even the littlest things (or in this case not so little) can make you happy."

      YES! These ads both have happy endings, i wonder if the suicide awareness folks actually watched the full 30 SECONDS?
      Joshua
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is stupid. People need to stop reading so much into a CAR commercial and take it for what it is, advertising. Its not a actual show, its an ad about a car company. If a person can not tell the difference between an advertisement and real life, they need to stop watching tv.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You guys need to check today's USA today. USA says they pulled the ad.

      http://www.usatoday.com/money/advertising/2007-02-15-vw-pulls-ad_x.htm
      • 7 Years Ago
      The NY Times and Wall Street Journal say VW pulled the ad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm glad we have so much free speech in this country and can make jokes for entertainment still...

      Oh, shit. Wait. Nevermind.