In “The Road,” one of Jeep’s trio of television spots aired during this year’s NBC Super Bowl broadcast, the ad closes with a shot of a red Jeep Cherokee bounding through what looks like a shallow stream in a picturesque woodland area.
It’s a simple enough shot, but according to one group, it’s also quite unethical.
According to The Detroit News, Trout Unlimited – a non-profit group committed to the conservation of streams, rivers, and other fish habitats – finds fault with the advertisement’s depiction of a vehicle driving through a stream. The group’s President and CEO, Chris Wood, reportedly asked FCA to pull the advertisement as it “glorifies” the possible destruction of fish habitat.
In another of its Super Bowl ads, “Anti-Manifesto,” Jeep depicts the all-new Wrangler JL fording a small lake and climbing a waterfall. That ad, however, contains text which says that the lake and waterfall are both closed, man-made features.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles defends “The Road,” with a spokesperson saying the ad was shot on a flooded county road – not a stream. Additionally, the description printed beneath the video on YouTube now contains the following text:
The Jeep® brand and FCA cooperate with federal/state/local governments and organizations, including Tread Lightly and Access Fund, around the world to help ensure that its vehicles are being utilized in a legal and responsible manner, and follow those guidelines when demonstrating their off-road capabilities. The water scene in this video represents runoff on a designated county road.
The spokesperson also echoed that “Anti-Manifesto” was shot using a man-made lake and waterfall on private property.