Carmaker General Motors is trying to sell cars to college students and is offering them a special discount. And it offered a little bit more in a recent print ad – the suggestion that if they happen to be a male, they will do much better with members of the opposite sex if their wheels are attached to an automobile rather than a bicycle.
According to a story on Yahoo blog The Lookout, the GM print ad shows a female passenger in a car being amused by the plight of an obviously-embarrassed, face-hiding cyclist as she and the car’s unseen driver are passing the bike.
As The Lookout says, “The message isn’t subtle: Riding a bike is hazardous to your sex life.”
The ad sparked the kind of backlash from avid cyclist that is part of the new digital, Twitter-enabled universe. College students have practically been tripping over one another to declare themselves as proud cyclists.
According to The Lookout, GM first apologized, then said it was pulling the ad from its print rotation.
RBR-TVBR observation: We hope we never get to the point where the citizens of this great nation get so sensitive that they cannot take even the mildest joke. And if we were selling bikes on campus, we wouldn’t get mad at GM, we’d get even.
We would run our own ad, in which a trim, fit and energetic cyclist is surrounded by adoring members of the opposite sex (without regard to which sex is cast in which role, by the way), while a puffy out of shape individual that drives everywhere looks on enviously.
Just for the record, we enjoy riding our bike, and when it comes to staying in shape and feeling good about our bodies and general health, our bike wins every time. But when it comes to being where we need to be, on time, with the things we need to have on hand when we get there, and with some distance involved, our car comes in mighty handy. We love them both. So we guess the bottom line is, lighten up America. It’s an ad, not a personal insult.