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SUV Haters Vent In GM's Make-Your-Own Ad Contest

An online ad campaign for General Motors has apparently, um, backfired.
General Motors is unlikely to choose the winner of its make-your-own Tahoe ad contest from the entries circulating the Web on Monday.

With GM providing all the online tools to let the creative juices flow, SUV haters took the opportunity to let their feelings show in ads that linked the gas-guzzling vehicles to global warming and inconsiderate drivers. The contributors' sometimes off-color text was superimposed on video of the new 2007 Chevy Tahoe tooling down an open road in the mountains or some other grandiose landscape.

"This powerful V8 engine only gets 15 miles per gallon. In a world with limited resources, you don't need a GPS to know where the road leads. Our planet's oil is almost gone. Peak oil is here. Maybe you should walk," one ad said.

"Larger than any normal mortal really needs with four-wheel drive for conditions you'll probably never encounter, and size to intimidate other drivers and damage others' cars more than yours," another said. "Give you false confidence, so you can continue to drive like a heedless jerk, because you're the only one on the whole damn planet."

GM launched the online ad campaign and contest with Donald Trump's "The Apprentice" franchise. Prizes range from a Jackson Hole Getaway to a trip to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

The Detroit automaker is not the first company to get stung in trying to use the Web's interactive power. The Los Angeles Times, for example, was forced to take down last year a wiki it launched to build a reader-created editorial on the war in Iraq. The "wikitorial" became a maintenance nightmare for the newspaper's editors, who spent too much time removing porn and profanity.

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Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
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