With many hunters’ and sportsmen’s penchant for SUVs to reach their favorite hunting spots, a recent television commercial aired by Jeep (a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler) raised the hackles of many in the hunting community. So much so that DaimlerChrysler was flooded with complaints and an on-line petition was circulated protesting the ad.
In the commercial, titled "Deer Hunter," a Jeep is driven through a wooded area with two deer tied to the top of the vehicle. As the Jeep drives by, hunters in camouflage are shown in the woods, in close proximity to each other and the road, admiring the deer. The Jeep then drives to an area marked with a "NO HUNTING" sign. The Jeep stops, the man gets out and releases the deer that appeared to be dead. The driver tells the deer they are safe, and the deer bound away. In the background, other Jeep owners are shown doing the same thing.
The ad obviously portrays hunters in a negative light, and apparently DaimlerChrysler heard the voices of sportsmen loudly and clearly, as the ad has been pulled. "We did not anticipate this story line would evoke such negative emotion among some viewers," stated Jeff Bell, Vice President of Marketing Communications for DaimlerChrysler. "Obviously we underestimated the sensitivity of this issue. [B]ecause this is so emotionally charged, we will no longer continue this campaign."