GM Responds to SUV Ad Controversy
Lloyd's post about GM's Tahoe SUV "make your own ad" campaign received lots of attention and TreeHuggers created dozens of Tahoe ads. Now, it's GM's turn to respond on one of their blogs: "Early on we made the decision that if we were to hold this contest, in which we invite anyone to create an ad, in an open forum, that we would be summarily destroyed in the blogosphere if we censored the ads based on their viewpoint. So, we adopted a position of openness and transparency, and decided that we would welcome the debate. [...] I won't bore you with the details, but the overwhelming majority of the 22,000 submissions thus far have been earnest attempts at creating positive advertisements."
More from the same GM blog:
Now that the debate has begun, I'd like to remind everyone of some indisputable facts:
The 2007 Tahoe is capable, refined and responsible. In fact, in the area of responsibility Tahoe outperforms all of the competition (Toyota, Ford, etc.) in fuel economy with 22 mpg on the highway thanks to Active Fuel Management technology that turns off 4 of 8 cylinders when you don't need them. The Tahoe is also E85 compatible, which means that it can run on ethanol, a renewable fuel source. Which reduces greenhouse gases and our dependency on foreign oil. The Tahoe has achieved the segment's highest safety ratings and is an excellent vehicle for those with large families.
We at GM are not culturally unaware; we realize that there are people who would never purchase an SUV. That's why we make more vehicles that get over 30 miles-per-gallon than any other manufacturer. That is why Chevy offers vehicles ranging from the Aveo (starting under $10,000, 34mpg) to the Tahoe ($34,000, 22mpg). In short, we make vehicles that serve the needs for customers of all walks of life and we're proud of that.
Say what you want about some of GM's decisions, but we think that they were smart with this one. They avoided the typical "big business" reflex of censoring, denying and spinning, and for that they get extra points.