Conservationists erupted in criticism over Fiat Chrysler’s Super Bowl ad for its Jeep brand claiming that the commercial glorifies the “destruction of aquatic habitats” for showing a vehicle plowing through a stream at high speed.
The ad, first played during the February 4 Super Bowl, features a Jeep Cherokee driving down through the middle of a stream. The scene appears about three quarters of the way through the commercial, the New York Daily News reported.
Trout Unlimited President and CEO Chris Wood attacked the car maker for furthering the notion that the car was ideal for the sort of off-road use that is often destructive to wilderness areas.
“Fish are tough and resilient critters, but they don’t do well with several-thousand-pound vehicles driving over their spawning grounds, tearing up the gravel where they lay eggs,” Wood said. “Why someone would want to put out the idea that you should buy a Jeep so you could drive it up a creek is incomprehensible to me.”
Wood was not calling for any boycott of the vehicle brand, but he said his 300,000-member group was disappointed with the ad.
Trout Unlimited often works with state agencies and local groups to help them repair damage to wilderness areas perpetrated by people using off-road vehicles irresponsibly.
The carmaker defended its add but noted it had no plans to air it again.
The Jeep Cherokee advertisement was the second commercial Fiat Chrysler came under fire over. The first ad that raised ire was the company’s ad featuring a voice over of famed civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his “I Have A Dream” speech.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.