DaimlerChrysler, maker of the popular Jeep line of vehicles, has turned its back on American sportsmen by launching an advertising campaign that glorifies anti-hunters and vilifies hunters.
In Jeep’s ‘Deer Hunter’ commercial, a man drives a Jeep through a wooded site with two deer tied on top of the vehicle. As the Jeep drives by, hunters in camouflage are shown in the woods, in close proximity to each other and the road, admiring the man’s deer. The driver of the Jeep then crosses the road to a location that shows a “No Hunting” sign. The Jeep stops, the man gets out and releases the deer that appeared to be dead. The driver tells the deer they are safe and the deer bound away. In the background, other Jeep owners are shown doing the same thing.
“Although this message was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, it won’t be taken that way by the 40 million sportsmen across America,” said WLFA President Bud Pidgeon. “This ad gives the distinct impression that people who ‘save’ wildlife from hunters – and drive Jeeps – are the good guys. In reality, the good guys are American sportsmen. They are our nation’s number one conservationists and they are the reason that America’s wildlife is flourishing.”
When WLFA officials contacted Jeep, its spokesperson, Diane Jackson, was unwilling to acknowledge the insulting message portrayed in its commercial. She said that the ad was creative and would continue to run nationally.
Apparently, Jeep is not yet listening to its customers. A Jeep employee reported that calls protesting the commercial were swamping its switchboard.
“Sportsmen need to send DaimlerChrysler and Jeep a strong message that its anti-hunting sentiments are not appreciated,” responded Pidgeon. “As an owner of a vehicle manufactured by this company, I intend to personally communicate my strong resentment about the direction this company has taken. I will encourage my friends and colleagues to do the same.”
Sportsmen can express their dissatisfaction by contacting DaimlerChrysler at (248) 512-2992 or by faxing (248) 512-1760. They can also write DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche at P.O. Box 218004, Auburn Hills, Michigan, 48321-8004.
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