Usually the federal government comments about ads only when one of its regulating agencies has a problem. But transportation secretary Ray LaHood has singled out Subaru of America for praise.
LaHood recently called Subaru of America COO Tom Doll to praise the Japanese automaker for its recent ad about distracted driving. "Their 30-second ad is all about a parent telling their young child, 'Don't use a cell phone, and don't text and drive,' " LaHood tells The Detroit News. He told Doll: "You're stepping up here with really persuading people, and you're going to win big accolades for doing that."
The ad, shown here, titled "Baby Driver," was created by Minneapolis agency Carmichael Lynch, and features a father telling a young child not to text or make calls behind the wheel. It ends with the youngster, now a teen driver, behind the wheel. "Stay off the freeways—I don't want you going on those yet," the dad says. "Call me—but not while you're driving."
The federal government is majority owner of General Motors. I'm thinking this has to make the GM peeps feel like the son whose dad gushes about the neighbor kid's baseball prowess. LaHood has been on a rampage about distracted driving, and is known to privately want to ban all telephony as well as texting from driving. That's not likely, though. The telecommunications industry has a lobby almost as powerful as the healthcare industry, and the companies, while not promoting texting and driving, don't want to see people have to give up at least hands-free calling behind the wheels.