Honda updates Civic national ad following Detroit uproar

Article by Anita Panait, on January 29, 2014

Honda Motor Co. has modified a national ad for the Civic compact following an uproar in Detroit over the original spot’s images of protesters outside of a federal court in the city. The ad, "Today Is Pretty Great," featured images of the bankruptcy court and protestors outside a federal courthouse in Detroit before showing more positive images.

Some Detroiters were able to identify the place as the city's Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse. The court in the original spot is hearing arguments in the city of Detroit's bankruptcy case. The commercial began airing Jan. 8, 2014. The updated ad no longer bears the footage of the courthouse and protesters.

Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in the United States in July 2013. Any bankruptcy settlement may result to city employees and retirees seeing reduction in their wages, benefits and pensions. The Detroit News recently published a story about Honda commercial and the negative response it was receiving in Detroit.

Hours later, Honda officials told the daily that they would be getting rid of the images of protestors. "The slight change we made to the commercial simply reflects our desire to remove anything that would get in the way of our uplifting message," Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade told Automotive News.

He said that the original commercial, created by Honda's chief advertising agency RPA, was not intended to represent Detroit or “the challenges experienced by the city, its people or our industry." The Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the National Action Network's Michigan chapter, told the News that the ad was a slap in Detroit's face.

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