Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Kia’s racy ad and the sensitivity of our police

Apparently, the Montreal Police Brotherhood, Quebec’s provincial police association, and, by extension, other police representatives, are very sensitive. They’ve protested Kia’s recent ad, which shows a female traffic cop passionately kissing a driver in his Kia, until they’re interrupted by a call on her car-radio.

Thanks to YouTube for the image.
It’s a cute ad, but the police in Quebec, apparently, are not amused. They want it pulled. Kia agreed to air it only after 9 p.m.

This raises a lot of questions about freedom of expression, the limits of expression in commercial and publicly-accessible television, the depiction of identifiable groups, respect for authority and the ability of any group to limit expression by crying “offensive.”

Personally, I wonder where the offense lies. What does the ad say? That driving a Kia makes you irresistible. In fact, the ad implies that police officers normally can resist temptations, but of course Kia’s product overwhelms even them.

Anyway, even if police officers are not immune to such temptations, what’s the worst that this ad says? That officers can be impulsive? Has the officer done anything wrong? She has kissed a man. No one has been hurt.

What the police associations don’t seem to realize is that we viewers aren’t stupid. We know this is hyperbole. We don’t expect to be mobbed by women when we drive a subcompact car, no matter who makes it. We also don’t really expect to be smothered in smooches when we wear any particular deodorant or after-shave. But it’s an amusing idea, nonetheless.

Get over it, officers!

What do you think?

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