Chrysler Group’s latest controversial ad seems to confirm the age-old adage Mom told before we left for college: keep it in your pants. In the past, the Dodge brand’s gotten into hot water when it decided to sponsor, then pulled out of, a “Lingerie Bowl” that was to have aired during the 2004 Super Bowl. Ads launching the Durango featured men at urinals with suggestive discussion of size. And now, a new Caliber ad uses the phrase “Silly little fairy” as a man flies around a city, changing its cityscape into gingerbread houses and toy trains. When another character utters the phrase, the “fairy” turns the man into a short-shorted caricature of a gay man, down to the pink leashes on the dogs he’s walking. Unconvincingly, a Chrysler spokesperson told the Detroit News, “We’re kind of surprised that people are making a conclusion about someone's sexual orientation based on the clothes they’re wearing.” Somewhere on the command chain from ad agency to approval levels, Chrysler’s forgotten that basic rule that we also, to be honest, left behind at the dormitory door.
April 7, 2006
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