Hyundai forced to retreat from ad making light of suicide
Hyundai executives issued a hasty apology Thursday after widespread outrage over one of its advertisements that relied on a suicide message to tout the vehicle’s clean emissions.
The 60-second U.K. commercial, called “Pipe Job,” showed a man trying to commit suicide by starting his Hyundai iX35 inside a closed-in garage and ostensibly succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning. He fails, due to the vehicle’s advertised low emissions.
Outrage from watchers was swift.
One wrote the company that created the ad, Innocean, as quoted on the blog, Mashable: “When your ad started to play, and I saw the beautifully-shot scenes of taped-up car windows with exhaust feeding in, I began to shake. I shook so hard that I had to put down my drink before I spilt it. And then I started to cry. I remembered looking out the window to see the police and ambulance, wondering what was happening. I remember mum sitting me down to explain that daddy had gone to sleep and would not be waking up and no, he wouldn’t be able to take me to my friend’s birthday party next week. No, he couldn’t come back from heaven just for that day, but he would like to if he could. I remember finding out that he had died holding my sister’s soft toy rabbit in his lap.”
Hyundai apologized and issued a statement on Thursday.
“We at Hyundai Motor America are shocked and saddened by the depiction of a suicide attempt in an inappropriate U.K. video featuring a Hyundai. Suicide merits thoughtful discussion, not this type of treatment,” the company said.
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