Responding to criticism of an ad depicting a humiliated office worker forced to bike to his job due to high gas prices, State Farm Director of Marketing Communications Tim Van Hoof writes:
I’m sorry this commercial offended anyone. State Farm has been a
supporter of bicycle safety through the thousands of bicycle rodeos
we’ve held for children throughout the US and Canada, and we are open
to discussion about how State Farm may be able to work with the
bicycling community in the future.
This advertisement is part of an overall campaign where we attempt
to capture consumers talking about points in their lives. Our intention
is to recognize and empathize with these everyday challenges, and
provide ways State Farm can help.
State Farm is also very concerned about doing what we can to improve
health, safety and the environment in our communities. If you’d like
more information on what we’re doing, go to statefarm.com.
To View the overall ad campaign please go to: http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=statefarm
Thanks for writing, Tim. Streetsbloggers, what can State Farm and other insurers do to improve conditions for cyclists and others who routinely get around without a car? Pay-by-the-mile auto insurance? Cessation of the use of the word "accident" in referring to every car crash? An auto fatality trust fund to pay for safe streets initiatives?