Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Not to Make Friends

It seems the folks at General Motors believe they can look good by putting others down. In a WTF?!-worthy move, the car company published this ad in college newspapers across the U.S.:

"Reality sucks... luckily the GM College Discount Doesn't"? WTF?! I have never seen anyone laugh at the sight of a cyclist - not even the ones wearing neon spandex. Spend even half an hour during the morning commute on a Toronto street and you'll see drivers glancing wistfully at the cyclists speeding past them while they sit, idling, in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When I take public transit these days, I feel jealous of those who can bundle up and ride in the cold - and get to their destinations much more quickly than me.

GM, of course, had to pull the ad after receiving many complaints from the public. The reality that sucks isn't that cyclists are made fun of, it's that car companies think they can increase their sales with a low blow to a portion of the population that is smart, in good shape, and unstressed by their commute. Cyclists are well off, too, having saved money while drivers bought cars and insurance, saved some more money while drivers filled up on gas, and saved even more money while drivers maintained, repaired, and eventually replaced their vehicles. It's a no-brainer, folks. Ah, but perhaps the folks at GM have no brains? :)


  1. Car companies suck.

    Instead of mocking the people smart (and hardworking) enough to not buy a car, they should work on trying to improve their tarnished image earned through decades of making gas-guzzling, cheap-ass, over-priced cars.

    But I'm just being silly... we'd have to assume that big corporations are capable of learning and changing with the times, and that's pretty silly.

  2. Silly indeed! In the face of vanishing oil reserves, clearly the only logical reaction is for car companies to keep doing as they've been doing all along. :)

  3. What?! I showed this to my partner and we are both outraged. We are both avid cyclists and mountain bikers and I religiously commute by bike during the snow-free months (by foot in the winter with also unfortunately, a bit more driving). Toronto sounds like an incredibly bicycle-friendly city and as my town of Bozeman, Montana is also considered quite bicycle-friendly, we both still encounter (on almost every ride) motorists that hate cyclists and try to express their opinions in dangerous ways. Perpetuating disdain of cyclists is absolutely uncalled for, especially as a marketing tool. Thanks for pointing this out- I hope to write a letter to GMC.

  4. Yup, even in a bike-friendly city, the hate is there. It's a shame when drivers take their commuting stress out on cyclists, especially when, as you mentioned, they do so in a dangerous way.

    When you write that letter, please share it on your blog!