I came across this State Farm ad last week and at the time found it to be somewhat insulting to bike commuters. The video has been pulled from YouTube, but the link describes the commercial. Apparently many of the commenters on Streetsblog also took offense, and surprisingly, Tim Van Hoof, the Director of Marketing Communications with State Farm, responded:
I’m sorry this commercial offended anyone. State Farm has been a supporter of bicycle safety through the thousands of bicycle rodeos we’ve held for children throughout the US and Canada, and we are open to discussion about how State Farm may be able to work with the bicycling community in the future.
Mr. Van Hoof then followed up his comment with a statement that State Farm had pulled the ad from the campaign:
As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I am sorry the advertisement offended anyone. Our intention with this particular ad was to recognize and empathize with the everyday challenge of high gas prices, and suggest that State Farm could help by providing lower auto insurance rates than a person may be receiving from their current provider.
But clearly we have heard your concerns. In fact, we take very seriously each letter, email and blog comment we receive.
During the past few days, I discussed the perception of this advertisement with others at State Farm, and we decided the right thing to do would be to discontinue it. We will remove this ad as quickly as possible from the current rotation schedule.
Please know that State Farm is very concerned about doing what we can to improve the health, safety and environment in our communities.
Though it is upsetting that State Farm thought this was a good idea for an ad, I am impressed that they listened to the commenters on Streetsblog and actually pulled the ad.
If anyone knows where video of this can still be seen please post a link in the comments.