• Feb 1st 2010 at 2:03PM
  • 36
Audi Green Police Campaign – Click above to watch the video after the break

Audi is taking some heat over the unintended connection one blogger made between the company's Green Police ad that's scheduled to debut during the Super Bowl and the Ordnungspolizei, the uniformed regular German police force when the Nazi's ruled Germany. Because of the Ordnungspolizei's green uniforms, they were sometimes referred to as the green police.

Jeffrey Kuhlman, the chief communications officer for Audi of America, told AutoblogGreen that he personally talked to two Jewish leaders – Abraham Foxman, head of the Anti Defamation League, and Fred Zeidman, Chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum – about the green police ads and that they did not see a problem with the spot. Kuhlman added that:
One thing that I think is also needed in order to put this into perspective is the issue of green police vs. Ordnungspolizei. Ordnungspolizei is directly translated to mean Order Police. It's more than just the difference between capital letters and small letters, it's official versus nicknames. And in our research not one person drew any other distinction other than "environmental".

We researched the term. We tested the ad concept with focus groups. We sought input and reaction from key organizations, including the Jewish community, and we sent out a press release that went to thousands of media, and not one reaction. I then worked again with key Jewish leaders after the blogger raised the issue, just to make sure that we hadn't missed something, and again, we were reassured that the term is not one that has historical significance, and that reactions to the term are completely in line with our intent ... environmental enforcement
We agree that Audi could've easily gone with Eco Police or Enviro Police or a bunch of other names that don't have this association and avoided the incident. But we've seen the Super Bowl ad (there's a teaser companion spot here) and can tell you that it's not offensive in any way. It does what a super-expensive Super Bowl ad should do: be funny and promote a product (in this case, clean diesel technology and the A3 TDI). It's not the best ad we've ever seen, but really it's not worth getting our eco-washed undies in a bundle about, either. After all, Israel's main arm of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in the area of enforcement and deterrence is called, you guess it, the Green Police.

[Source: Audi]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Walter Ganieany
      • 5 Years Ago
      Audis ROCK, they are one of the best built cars on the planet!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the person who said this was wrong was in idiot, the fact that they asked various religious leaders goes to show that they do care how the people would feel and take to the advertisement. Thing is in this new pervertade time the robber can sue the people who caught him robbing for "physical restraint" or any other thing he can think up and win... getting even more money for himselt. I don't believe anyone should have a problem with it... I also know that those complaining aren't Jews and the Jews don't have a problem with it. So Shut UP and mind your own business.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think everyone is missing the point here. This is a conditioning ad attacking our constitutional freedoms. Does the unthinking public accept subjugating individual rights in the politically correct cause of protecting the environment. Some people think this ad is just a spoof but it isn't. It is in the published plans of the NWO elitists. Wake up American they are conditioning us to accept giving up our precious rights to the point where we become slaves like the Nazi slaves that Audi used to produce vehicles during the holocaust. Instead of watching a meaningless Super Bowl read your history and connect the dots before it is to late.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree with Irish Mike and Carole Hock.....I'm sooo sick of righteous, nitpicking, politically correct people. Even when there isn't anything to criticize, they'll bitch about nothing. What's happened to America's sense of humor? Get a grip, all you whining little babies, and grow up!! It really ISN'T all about you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a teachable lesson for all executives out there.

      If you have an idea that leads you to calling up two prominent leaders of ANY group in order to make sure you aren't offending them, stop. The fact that you figured out that it could be offensive enough that you actually to go asking for permission means you've already gotten your answer. Don't do it. It isn't worth it to have to explain how it was made Kosher by the approval of any particular leaders.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Bingo. The fact that they asked implies that they knew someone might make the connection.

        In addition, I don't think their target audience was watching at that moment. The beer drinking, pickup driving, football crowd already thinks the "greens" are borderline nuts and would welcome such a force. Spending 3 million bucks to piss off half the people watching doesn't strike me as a good way to sell cars.

        I was at a party where the very first comment I heard was "There would be blood in the streets" and I'm sure none of them knew about the Grun Polizei angle.

        I'm sure they wanted it to be funny. It fell flat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      No matter how much I support green initiatives, I don't want any goose-stepping fascists running the process, no matter how eco-green they are. The ad is creepy because of the implications of coercion.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To Whom it May Concern:
      Give me a break, no one today it seems can make any kind of reference to anything, without someone referencing something other than what is intended by the refencee. What ever happened to the 1st Amendment, whereby you can say what you want, without fear of being castrasized by some idiot that thinks he knows everything!
      Irish Mike
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are you kidding me! That commercial was absolutely harmless! What is the matter with this moronic world? Why do we have to bitch about every little thing? The world is overflowing with politically correct a@#holes!
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      In other words they spent too much money on this campaign to pull the E-brake on it this soon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would never in a million years think anything other than environmental regarding "Green Police" and dont think there is much controversy here.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dear Mr. Brown,

      the uniformed regular German police force has been using different shades of green since 1919 and still does.
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