Hyundai pulls suicide ad (video)


Hyundai LogoHyundai pulled a suicide ad 4/25 amid outcries from the public. The online effort  featured a man trying to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. The ad was meant to show off the automaker’s zero-emission vehicle. Unfortunately, the ad was not taken as lightly as Hyundai hoped.

Suicide prevention activists praised the decision to pull the ad. Robert Gebbia, executive director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, stated:

“We know from research that graphic depictions of suicide in the media can inadvertently lead to further suicides … This advertisement was particularly graphic and potentially dangerous. We are pleased that Hyundai has decided to pull this campaign.”

The Hyundai suicide ad showed a man trying to kill himself using a car’s exhaust. He runs a hose from the car’s tailpipe to the cabin, tapes the windows, and sits there waiting. But his attempt at suicide fails, because the car is an iX35, which runs on hydrogen and only emits water vapor, reports The Inquisitr.

Hyundai pulled the car suicide ad a week after it started running. On Thursday, the automaker also issued an apology, saying:

“We at Hyundai Motor America are shocked and saddened by the depiction of a suicide attempt in an inappropriate European video featuring a Hyundai. Suicide merits thoughtful discussion, not this type of treatment.”

The company added that the suicide ad was created by the overseas ad agency Innocean Europe. It had no connection to Hyundai’s operations in the US. It was not clear where the ad appeared originally and the automaker has successfully removed it from YouTube.

See the ad here:


See the Inquisitr story here

RBR-TVBR observation: Thankfully, someone had the sense not to put the ad on TV. According to headlines, suicide in America now tops that of car crash fatalities. It’s almost funny sometimes how ads make it through all of the filters and layers of management without someone saying, “Wait a second here.” Good examples on TV now include the Domino’s Pizza ad telling viewers they’ve slowed down the way they craft the pizza dough in the pan and have turned their ovens down. I asked my 11-year old, “What is wrong with this ad?” She immediately said, “Why would I want to wait longer for my pizza?” Good answer. No one wants to wait even longer for their food—Dominos is advertising “slow.” Not smart. Also, the Taco Bell ad with the teen kissing his date in the van looks way too much like the Boston bomber that’s in the hospital. They couldn’t have helped that one, but they might want to look at pulling it sooner, rather than later.


  1. Ironically, according to the gospel of Wikipedia, the former chairman of Hyundai (Chung Mong-hun, son of the company’s founder) committed suicide in 2003 after being indicted in connection with secret money transfers to the North Korean government.

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