Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Ad Nauseam

State Farm Discontinues Its “Humiliated Cyclist” Ad

Our State Farm Ad Nauseam featuring "Jim" the humiliated bike commuter drew a lot of interest. The post was picked up all over, generated more than 10,000 YouTube views and, along with all of last week's congestion pricing-related web traffic, it crashed our server on Friday.

Now, according to Director of Marketing Communications TIm Van Hoof, State Farm is yanking the ad:

As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I am sorry the advertisement offended anyone. Our intention with this particular ad was to recognize and empathize with the everyday challenge of high gas prices, and suggest that State Farm could help by providing lower auto insurance rates than a person may be receiving from their current provider.

But clearly we have heard your concerns. In fact, we take very seriously each letter, email and blog comment we receive.

During the past few days, I discussed the perception of this advertisement with others at State Farm, and we decided the right thing to do would be to discontinue it. We will remove this ad as quickly as possible from the current rotation schedule.

Please know that State Farm is very concerned about doing what we can to improve the health, safety and environment in our communities.

For example, in numerous states, employees can earn up to $1.50 a day by ridesharing, walking, or riding a bike to work. We also have more than 1,200 employees participating in van pooling throughout the country.

State Farm has also been a supporter of bicycle safety through the thousands of bicycle rodeos we've held for children throughout the US and Canada. We remain open to discussion about how State Farm might partner with the bicycling community in the future.

It's commendable that State Farm was so responsive, and hopefully the company will actually consider some of the many suggestions put forth by Streetsbloggers and others. Still, we must admit we're a little sad that they're pulling the ad. If nothing else, it does depict a guy biking to work as an alternative to suffering the high costs of driving. Besides, we'd grown kinda fond of Jim and Sheila.

Godspeed, Jim.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Friday’s Headlines: The Polk’s on Us Edition

This afternoon, our reporter Jesse Coburn will journey to Midtown to accept Streetsblog's first George Polk Award, one of journalism's highest honors. But before that, here's the news.

April 12, 2024

Op-Ed: Police Placard Corruption Report Was Weak, Disappointing … and Completely Expected

The Department of Investigations clearly had ample evidence of crimes and serious violations, yet its report lets everyone off the hook.

April 12, 2024

City Unveils Design for Long-Decrepit East Harlem Greenway

Nearly two dozen blocks of crumbling greenway along the Harlem River are slated for a revamp in 2025.

April 12, 2024

Thursday’s Headlines: Bike Lanes are Good for Business Edition

A business owner testifies from the heart (and wallet). Plus other news.

April 11, 2024

Environmental Groups Join to Fight Adams’s BQE Reconstruction

Rebuilding the Moses-era highway for another century is not environmental justice.

April 11, 2024
See all posts