Memo: “Launching a Jihad” on Auto Prices: Never OK.

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A car dealership in Columbus, OH, is causing a bit of a controversy with ads that proclaim that they’re “launching a Jihad” on car prices, and “one car can comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back.”

“Out there” PR, good. Insulting religions and trying to sell cars based on thousands of innocents dead on both sides? Bad.

Keith Dennis, of Dennis Mitsubishi goes on to say…

“Our prices are lower than the evildoers’ every day. Just ask the pope! ” the ad says. “Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies.”

See, this is not good.

The PR you’re going to get from this (like the Columbus Dispatch article referenced above) is not worth the flack you’re going to get from protest groups and the like. Plus, it’s in poor taste.

Poor taste isn’t always terrible, but you’ve got to know where the line is. Convincing Sleepy’s Matresses to send a Matress to Federal Court to give to Martha for her trial was fine. Making fun of people being blown up? Not so fine.

Rule: Ask 10 people if it offends them. Make sure at leaast half don’t think exactly like you. If it offends more than half, you might want to rethink the ad.

Similar: The suicide-bomber ad for VW, which was done as a reel, and not a real ad, and wound up with VW suing the guys who created it.

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