Criticism Changes Super Bowl Ad

| April 07, 2005

A multi-million-dollar ad for employment website Monster.com that aired during this year’s Super Bowl and sparked criticism from the trucking industry is to be changed.

In the ad, which features the voice of trucking legend and radio host Bill Mack, a driverless 18-wheeler crashes through a cornfield, an intersection and a gas station. The truck careens past a diner where a jobless trucker sits drinking coffee. It aired during the first half and at the end of the Super Bowl.

Mack’s voiceover says, “Somewhere a trucking company needs a driver. Somewhere a driver needs a job. That’s where we come in. Blue collar, white collar, no collar – now Monster works for everybody.”

Monster.com chairman Andrew McKelvey suspended the ad and said changes would be made before it ran again.

Several leading trucking organizations endorsed a press release Jan. 24 that said the advertisement trivialized “the efforts of all the trucking companies and professional drivers whose number one priority is to safely operate their vehicles each and every day.”

They urge those in the industry to call Monster and voice their concerns. Monster used the ad to promote new skilled, hourly and part-time job listings.

Dozens of trucking companies use Monster to recruit drivers, including C.R. England and Federal Express.

Criticism of the ad came from The American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, NATSO (the truckstop trade association) and the National Private Truck Council.

The ad caused a stir with some truckers who saw only a short description of the commercial in the Wall Street Journal. Those truckers begin calling ATA, OOIDA and TCA, the groups said.
“The ad completely ignores the trucking industry’s positive highway safety record, the professionalism of our 3.1 million drivers, and the over 10 million Americans – and likely Super Bowl viewers – who deliver America’s freight safely, efficiently and on time,” the groups said.

Almost half of the 260 respondents to an eTrucker.com poll said they thought it was funny. Forty percent were offended, while 13 percent had no reaction.

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