According to the Washington Post, there is a mild to-do in progress concerning a Range Rover ad in which the vehicle is depicted going off road on Pike’s Peak – an act that is strictly against the rules. There is concern viewers of the ad might try to do the same.
The ad shows the vehicle on a road on the mountain, then shows it apparently exiting the road, going over the top of the mountain and coming down the other side while admirers look on.
Off-roading is forbidden on federal land, and Pike’s Peak qualifies as part of the National Forest system.
A retired Forest Service ranger has raised concerns about the ad. According to an active ranger contacted about the issue, the vehicle relied on production magic to create the appearance of crossing over the mountain, and did not actually do so.
However, the ranger could not look into the specifics of the contract under which the commercial was produced due to the shutdown – the people who could have dig up this info are on furlough.
The ranger did say that such contracts expect the resulting ad, even if it is a simulation, must adhere to the spirit of the 1964 Wilderness Act – meaning it cannot show littering, tossing of matches or other similar bad behavior. That said, there does not seem to be a Forest Service objection to this particular ad.
The same cannot be said about an earlier ad in which a ranger was depicted pouring a laxative into Yellowstone National Park icon Old Faithful to get the geyser moving. That ad drew stern criticism due to the constant need to prevent visitors from tossing foreign objects and substances into the geyser.
RBR-TVBR must give a nod to WaPo headline writers who more than lived up to the great journalistic tradition of wildly groan-worthy puns in their write-up of this story when they used the phrase “Pike’s Pique.” Well done, WaPo, well done!