Volkswagen is suing
over that semi-famous VW Polo suicide bomber ad
The so-called viral ad -- unauthorized by Volkswagen or its advertising agencies -- shows a suicide bomber detonating his explosives in a Polo parked outside a busy cafe, only to have the car absorb the blast.
The 20-second spot ends with the Volkswagen logo and the Polo's actual advertising motto: Small but Tough.
Company spokesman Hartwig von Sass said VW lodged a criminal complaint with prosecutors in Brunswick, Germany, but did not specify a perpetrator. "This is an attack on Volkswagen's good name," he said of the ad, which he called cynical and criminal.
Compare that to how the ad's creators describe it:
It reflected 'what people see in the news every day. The car is the hero that protects innocent people from someone with very bad intentions. We're sorry if it has caused any offence.'
An attack on Volkswagen's good name? Unless you find the concept of a successful suicide bomber appealing, how is that, exactly? Does VW really need to be angling for the market that reads the sort of headline that says "Nine dead in Gaza bombing"
and thinks "Excellent; it's a good thing he didn't detonate himself prematurely?" (What am I saying? Of course they do. In Europe, anyway.)
Now, of course, I'm being glib; I know they do have to protect their intellectual property by aggressively pursuing anything that could be perceived as dilution of the trademark. But if there's a way that VW's spokesman could have seemed more
backhandedly apologetic towards possible offense taken by suicide bombers and their supporters (rather than, say, the victims thereof), I don't see it.