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Third Street Promenade
Santa Monica, CA
USA

Angelenos Against Gridlock is an advocate for a world-class transportation system for Los Angeles County, the most populous county in America.

Blog

GM Brand Tarnished by Offensive Anti-Bike/Pedestrian Ads

David Murphy

Angelenos Against Gridlock strongly denounces General Motors’ ad campaign making fun of transit, bicylng, and walking.

These ads, targeting college students, make fun of transit riding, biking, and walking. But far from cool, these ads are absolutely uncool. College students and young adults know that it’s cool to be green, and there’s nothing uncool about biking, walking, and transit — all options that help the environment, the pocketbook, and even help personal health. (Health? Yep: the CDC recommends active transportation options like biking and walking.)  We love cars here at Angelenos Against Gridlock, too, but we hate seeing awesome options like biking and walking made fun of.

While General Motors just announced they’re pulling this ad campaign this morning (although as of this afternoon, the website is still up), the damage has been done. This has seriously tarnished GM’s brand and we urge GM leadership to take strong and proactive action to change the culture that allowed this sort of ad to be approved, and to consider how it can redress the harm caused by its  "Reality Sucks" campaign. (Really, profanity, too?)

We have to wonder just how much damage this kind of advertising does in terms of driving green-minded car drivers (adults and college students alike) to competitors. 

Hat tip to Metro’s The Source blog for bringing this to our attention. Credit to BikePortland.org for the image of the newspaper ad and GMauthority.com for thea anti-transit ad.