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Mercedes-Benz GL Ad Under Fire
Posted August 8th, 2006 At 2:00 PM CST

As you may remember, back in May we brought you the GL-Class advertisement shown above, an ad depicting the GL in a number of exaggerated, somewhat-comical testing scenarios.

Today, BrandWeek is reporting that NAD, the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, doesn't find the ad humorous, going as far as stating the ad should be discontinued and never again displayed to consumers.

According to NAD: "NAD appreciates that humor can be an effective and creative means for an advertiser to highlight its product attributes and performance capabilities. However, humor does not relieve an advertiser of its obligation to support implied performance messages reasonably implied from humorous depictions."

Mercedes on the other hand is defending itself, stating the ads are indeed an “exaggeration” of the strength of the vehicle but that it's simply part of an ad series that uses humor to demonstrate the GL's safety.

According to Donna Boland, spokeswoman for Mercedes:  "It is farcical, and anyone seeing the spots can tell that it’s hyperbole.  The typical consumer is smart enough to know that this is not a serious ad. We have received no customer calls on this ad."

How the situation will be resolved remains to be seen. Personally, I'd replace the seemingly non-stop "Ask Dr. Z" ads with the former GL ad in an effort to further brainwash consumers into believing the GL-Class is indestructible (and at the same time further pissing off the NAD), but that's just me.

For more info, head over to BrandWeek to view the full article for yourself.


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