Ads For Cars Are Like Ads For Cigarettes

Remember The Marlboro Man?

With 40,000 deaths by car last year in the US, “…it may be time to treat automobile companies like cigarette manufactures if they’re going to encourage this kind of reckless aggression.”

This BMW ad in Canada is no different from the multitude of ads in the US depicting cars as aggressive, powerful “beasts” on empty city streets, or zooming on winding, precipitous mountain roads. Ads show vehicles with dark, tinted windows, offering glimpses of a perfectly attired man or woman cocooned in the sound and climate-controlled, luxurious interior. Trucks and SUVs are most often shown off-road, with rugged, sporty owners off loading camping gear or surfboards, living the life.  Ads work – they’re aspirational, especially ads for luxury, life-style items, and automobile manufacturers are profiting on knowing that they can continue brainwashing the public as they have been doing since the 1920s. Can we stop the killing by working to break car culture the way we have been trying to break smoking culture (it won’t be easy…now it’s vaping)?

What would an honest car advertisement look like?

“Often violent films and video games are accused of influencing behaviour, but those are fictional portrayals. Advertising is different: it’s aspirational, showing us a lifestyle we should, ostensibly, be striving for with the help of whatever product is being sold…What this ad and others like it are suggesting is that driver aggression is normal and should even be encouraged. In Toronto and other cities we’re familiar with the unleashed beast though, and it’s a killer.”

Save Asbury’s Waterfront Community Voices – Kerry Margaret Butch

Does Asbury Park really want to harken back to the “good old days” of the 1950’s? In advertising for the new development in the city some ads are showing video images of a 50’s car, and a curated mid-century vibe. But as Kerry Margaret Butch, the writer of this article says, the 50’s was a time when things were decidedly not great at all for minorities, people of color, gay, and women, or the poor.  We can do much better than that in 2019.


PLEASE ATTEND THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING FEB 13th. AP High School Auditorium.  Learn about development of the North Beach and share your thoughts in the public comment period.

“Let’s build a pool, but let’s make it public and affordable. Let’s make sure that our kids can enjoy it and that we aren’t creating an exclusive North Beach.” – Kerry Margaret Butch

Not Everybody into the Pool

“On Wednesday, February 13th at 6pm in the Asbury Park High School Auditorium, iStar will present it plans for a membership only Beach Club located on the east side of Ocean Avenue on 7th Avenue. The design is being promoted to be reminiscent of the 1950’s: a beach and bathing club complete with cabanas, restrooms, lockers and a large pool.

Remember the 50’s? Great for a lot of people, but not for all. Not women. Not people of color. Not gay people.

The vast majority of people that live in Asbury Park will not be able to afford membership in the Beach Club. The idea that the City will devote an entire city block of our waterfront to a club for 350 to 400 memberships doesn’t fit with the vision of an affordable, family friendly, diverse, “kind of edgy,” rock n’ roll progressive community.

Let’s build a pool, but let’s make it public and affordable. Let’s make sure that our kids can enjoy it and that we aren’t creating an exclusive North Beach. And let’s not build it east of Ocean Avenue.

Lately, there has been a renewed buzz about saving Bradley Cove – the area of North Beach by the fisherman’s lot in front of the senior building on Ocean Avenue. The beachfront has to be preserved from the slated development of 15 townhomes. Development rights will likely need to be “bought back” using public dollars. Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for an exclusive North Beach, but rather, investing in a public waterfront that is accessible and welcoming to all.

Please attend the meeting on February 13th and articulate the vision of an inclusive Asbury Park. The public is welcome to provide comments on the beach club starting at 7pm.”