The Kieffe & Sons Ford Dealership has issued a public apology at their website.
“For 15 years, Kieffe and Sons Ford has run ad campaigns that focus on current events. We have chosen to do this rather than presenting typical car sales ads. We do this through an agency that develops the material and sends us a package of commercials to review. From this, we select commercials that we distribute to area radio stations. Frequently we emphasize humor and patriotic themes, as we are located adjacent to two military bases. Public response over these 15 years has been hugely positive, often eliciting calls and visits from appreciative individuals. Regrettably, the commercial that has prompted the current objection to religious sentiment (“Under God”, “In We Trust”) was not closely reviewed by our dealership before it went live. The commercial has been replaced. We apologize to all who were offended. It is Kieffe and Sons’ intention to support America and the freedoms that make this country great.”
Rick Kieffe, President
Perhaps they will review the ads that they pay for in the future. They ended up with a lot of egg on their faces this time. I emailed them weeks ago about how the ad was offensive to nonbelievers, especially atheists. The portion of the ad that offended me was the “shut up and sit down” portion. The arrogance and condescension I can put up with, but not being told to give up my right to free speech.
If I were them, I definitely would screen future ads. There is a person calling himself J W Horne who claims to have made the ad. He seems to be cluelessly making himself look like an ass, both here and on his blog.
A radio ad that tells non-Christians to “sit down and shut up” has prompted a flood of phone calls to the Kern County car dealer who paid for the ads and now regrets airing them.
Rick Kieffe, owner of Kieffe and Sons Ford in Mojave and Rosamond, insisted Wednesday that he does not remember approving the ad, which he said was written by his longtime advertising writer and producer in Oklahoma.
“It’s just something that went by us,” said Kieffe, who does not attend church but considers himself “a Christian spirit.” “We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.”
Airing on local AM and FM radio in eastern Kern County and the Antelope Valley, the ad has gained a lot of attention on the Internet, where blog posts go on and on about its pro-Christian, anti-atheist message.
Kieffe said he has received “an incredible amount” of calls from people as far away as Australia and England, most but not all of them from “very articulate, nice people.”
Way to go everyone.
Kieffe and Sons has contracted the same Oklahoma ad producer for 12 to 15 years, Kieffe said. Most of the ads are humorous but a minority are patriotic, “flag-waving” messages that don’t necessarily push car sales, he said.
The dealership also advertises on television and in print, although the ad in question was limited to radio.
I wouldn’t call an ad that told 14% of the population to “sit down and shut up” very patriotic. The ad is also discussed over at Way of the Woo.