GM Blunders onto Campus

If you are a student looking to add tens of thousands of dollars of long term debt, care little about the environment, and want to lump two tons of steel around campus while paying through the nose for insurance, gas, and parking…General Motors has got a perfect deal for you. Bonus: it’ll make you fat and unhealthy! All you have to do is give up that dorky bicycle that’s easy to use, practically free, gets you some exercise and is actually fun to ride.

In one of the more remarkably ill-conceived car ad campaigns of all time, good corporate citizen GM is heading to campus to actively stop you from riding a bike by trying to make it look like it sucks. Obviously it’s been a while since GM execs and their creative teams set foot on campus. Anyway, I’m sure the campus facilities people will love having to add thousands of extra car parking spaces on campus at $30,000 a pop (who needs more buildings to learn in anyway, lets fill campus with parking structures); and University Presidents will have a little bit of explaining to do when it comes to those end of year climate and greenhouse gas targets… Maybe it’ll generate more business in the gym where students can drive in to go and ride on stationary bikes. Hope there’s enough parking.

In case you were wondering, GM has a fine-sounding corporate responsibility statement – carefully crafted by the best in the business, I’m sure. One sample quote: “As a responsible corporate citizen, General Motors is dedicated to protecting human health, natural resources and the global environment.”

And if you wanted to send a quick note to Chevrolet or GMC, there are instructions on how to do that.


UPDATE (10.12.11)

Clearly GM has heard from a lot of cycling folks, including BikePortland who first alerted GM through twitter that all hell was breaking lose about these ads. According to the LA Times and from the GM Twitter feed, hey have been very busy responding to all the messages they got via facebook and twitter – and have basically apologized and said they are going to change the campaign and drop the ads, which is good.

— Please find the original article on the website of the League of American Bicyclists:


  1. Ted Brown
    Posted 20 February, 2012 at 05:58 | Permalink

    Hi Carbusters! Its very important you point out that General Motors’ apologies for this ad are thoroughly hypocritical and insincere. They have an ongoing policy of sneering at anyone who doesn’t use an worship cars (particularly their models).

    Proof? There have been two previous ads using even worse sneering styles; one called ‘Creeps and Weirdos’, condemning people who use public transport and another against pedestrians

    After each ad is published there’s an outcry, GM shed crocodile tears of remorse and then repeat the same ‘mistake’ only worse. They take our money in bail-outs and laugh and sneer at us! Don’t ever believe a word they say.

  2. Ted Brown
    Posted 25 February, 2012 at 17:23 | Permalink

    THE TIMES NEWSPAPER’S CAMPAIGN: “Cities Fit For Cycling”.

    On November 2nd 2011, young Times journalist Mary Bowers was knocked off her bike and run over on her way to work, very close to The Times offices. She has been unconscious in hospital since then (I’m writing this on February 25, 2021).

    Motivated by the horror of what’s happened to their popular colleague, The Times launched their powerful campaign on February 2nd and it has been very successful in getting the issue of sustainable transport and increased safety for cyclists, pedestrians (and even motorists) into the public arena. Yesterday Parliament held a 3 1/2 hour debate on the issue, with major public figures and 30,000 readers writing in to support the campaign. And this from a newspaper which in 2007 published an article by one of its major writers, Matthew Parris, who hates cyclists and wrote that people should string up piano wire across cycle paths to decapitate cyclists! You can find updates on the campaign here:

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