Brad Benson is used to drumming up publicity. The former New York Giants offensive lineman owns the Mitsubishi and Hyundai dealership in South Brunswick, New Jersey, that bears his name, and has for the past several years upped his business' profile by airing a series of radio ads that sound more like talk shows.
Back in 2003, he publicly offered Saddam Hussein a new car if he left Iraq. The late dictator never took him up on the offer, so Benson probably never thought he'd get called on most recent radio appeal either. He was wrong.
When the controversy surrounding Terry Jones was at its highest, Benson went on the air and offered the Florida pastor a free Hyundai Accent provided not to burn the Quran as planned in protest of the Ground Zero Mosque project. Following a public outcry that included personal appeals made by President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Patraeus, Jones ultimately decided against the controversial book burning.
A few weeks after the controversy subsided, Benson was surprised to get a phone call from one of Jones' representatives inquiring about when and how he could collect the car he was promised, a 2011 Hyundai Accent worth $14,200. Jones reportedly plans on donating the car to a center for battered Muslim women, and after initially contemplating reneging on the offer or leasing Jones the car for a year, he has decided to make good on his offer.
Ultimately, the publicity surrounding the issue may bring Benson more customers to offset the cost of the car.
[Source: Associated Press via The New York Times | Image: Brad Benson Hyundai]