Whoops, eh? - Canadian Ford ad spurs backlash

The Catch-22 with advertising these days is that someone will undoubtedly be offended if your campaign is clever enough to be memorable. Ford of Canada came up with such an effort for the Escape, showing the CUV wearing a bumper sticker with the phrase "drive it like you stole it," and the tagline "Built for life in Manitoba." Innocuous enough, you say? Apparently not.
We can't say for sure if it's just people looking for things to get offended over, or if Canadians are just hypersensitive to Manitoba's reputation as a car theft hotspot. Either way, Ford has responded to the politically correct whining and pulled the ad while offering copious apologies. While car theft and traffic accidents are no laughing matter, especially when innocent people are tragically injured, you can't blame a car advertising campaign that uses an exceedingly common phrase for inducing an already rampant problem. We fail to see how people commiting criminal acts have anything to do with the automaker's sales efforts. Certainly, the message sent by the advertisement is that the Escape is tough enough for Canada, not that it's the car of choice for boosting. It'd be nice to see a company under unreasonable fire just offer up something like "whatevs, get a thicker skin." It's advertising, after all, not the cure for cancer. Of course, it would also have been easy enough to say "Drive it like you hate it" and send largely the same message.

Thanks for the tip, Richard!

[Source: CBC]

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