The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) is spearheading a campaign to boycott Monster.com, a job recruiting service, claiming it depicts the trucking industry and America's professional truck drivers in an unsafe and unrealistic manner.
"The ad completely ignores the trucking industry's positive highway safety record, the professionalism of our 3.1 million drivers, and the over ten million Americans – and likely Super Bowl viewers – who deliver America's freight safely, efficiently and on time," ATA said in a press release.
The Truckload Carriers Assn., Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. (OOIDA), National Assn. of Truck Stop Operators and National Private Truck Council also said Friday they would boycott Monster.
The ad, which can be viewed at superbowl-ads.com, features a driverless truck that rides through a cornfield and intersections before destroying a billboard, a roadside attraction and a gas station."
"Somewhere a truck company needs a driver; somewhere a driver needs a job; and that’s where we come in," a voice-over by trucking deejay Bill Mack says, as the truck passes a truck stop. "Blue collar, white collar or no collar, Monster.com works for everybody."
"Many will see the ad as humorous, as it’s intended to be," said OOIDA executive vp Todd Spencer. "But unfortunately, the ad will reinforce untrue stereotypes concerning trucking safety and myths that persist that there’s a driver shortage.
"At least the ad’s producers didn’t add teeth to the truck’s grill," Spencer added.
According to a Monster.com search, there are 920 jobs for truck drivers listed on the site. J. B. Hunt, Stevens Transport, Prime and CR England are the carriers with the most listings.
However, Monster's ad may not have left an impression on the Super Bowl audience.
According to AOL Broadband's Super Bowl Ads poll, only 1,644 of the 292,341, or 1%, of the voters thought Monster's ad was the best to be shown. Pepsi's ad for Pepsi Twist, featuring the Osbournes, the Osmonds and Florence Henderson, received 29% of the vote.
Also, the ad ranked 23rd out of 55 in USA Today's 15th-annual Ad Meter. The newspaper assembles 108 volunteers and electronically charts their second-by-second reactions to the ads.
Advertisers paid up to $2.2 million for each 30-second ad slot.