Advertising Law

Nixing Ford Lawyer's Demand, Chevy Airs Super Bowl Ad re Rival Truck Done In By 'Mayan Apocalypse'

Rejecting a cease-and-desist letter from a Ford lawyer, General Motors Co. ran a scheduled Super Bowl ad that implied a group of Chevrolet Silverado owners, unlike a friend who owned a truck built by the rival automaker, survived the 2012 ‘Mayan apocalypse.’

The ad, which GM also shared on YouTube, shows a rubble-covered Silverado pickup driving through a destroyed, deserted landscape, as a man and his dog gaze in wonder at what surrounds them and Barry Manilow (or somebody who sounds a lot like him) sings ‘Looks Like We Made It.” A large-type, front-page newspaper headline fluttering in the breeze and predicting the end of the world that very day makes the apocalyptic situation clear.

Dusty and dinged but alive, he and his Silverado join a group of men who have apparently parked the same Chevy truck in a random ring amidst the ruins. Then someone in the group wonders aloud about Dave.

“Dave didn’t drive the longest-lasting most dependable truck on the road,” one member of the group says. “He drove a Ford.”

Joel Ewanick, who serves as GM’s global chief marketing officer, told the Detroit News that the company stands by its claim that “the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road,” and called the ad “a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse.

“We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize,” Ewanick continued. ” In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.”

Attorney Lynne M. Matuszak, who wrote GM on Ford’s behalf, demanded that the company stop “making any unsubstantiated and disparaging claims” concerning Ford trucks and sought to have the apocalyptic commerical removed from YouTube and Facebook, as well as its scheduled Super Bowl slot.

Ford says its trucks actually are more dependable, reports the Detroit Free Press, and global marketing chief Jim Farley said he regrets that his company didn’t run its own ad.

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