Truffula Buffs Rebuff Mazda: The Lorax Selling Cars? Enough Is Enough!

## "Show you care an awful lot" buying a Mazda.

If you read Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax growing up or you read it to your kids today, then the sight of Mazda trotting out the protector of Truffula trees to hawk cars may have stirred deep feelings of revulsion. Our friend the Zozo has a petition on for you:

In these advertisements Mazda and Universal claim that a new automobile is “Certified Truffula Tree Friendly” and imply an endorsement of their product by the cherished title character of “The Lorax.” By airing these advertisements, Mazda and Universal have shamelessly turned a character who has inspired millions of children to care about their environment into a car salesman. Cars–even ones that pollute a little less–are neither kid-friendly nor good for the environment.

We are calling on Mazda, Universal Pictures, and their partners to immediately remove any advertising that associates “The Lorax” with automobiles from all forms of media: print, television, radio, movie trailers, the internet, merchandising, etc.

And now, a few more revolting reasons to sign the petition:

Hey kids: Test drive a Mazda, and you could meet the Lorax.

  • Exley

    Also fun (read: mind-melting):

    “On Tuesday, host Lou Dobbs railed against “The Lorax,” along with the
    Japanese children’s film, “The Secret World of Arrietty.” “Hollywood is
    once again trying to indoctrinate our children,” he warned. He claimed
    that the movies were “demonizing the 1% and espousing green energy

  • Lomax Stick

    The Lorax looks like he is being held for ransom in that photo.  Poor guy.

  • @8fa719a09867fe629442ceeb047ffc8e:disqus Dunno about the “the Lorax”, but I’ve seen “The Secret World of Arrietty” (in the original Japanese release), and either he’s off his meds or never bothered actually watching it…

  • Man, the thing about this Mazda add is that even though it’s advertising at it’s cynical worst, there’s such a sense of extreme dissonance that it seems more pathetic than really disturbing.  The impression is sort of that they’re so crazily desperate that they’ve just given up on trying to make sense and are at the “stuffing grandma in the dike” stage…

  • Lindsay Thomas

    “Unless someone like you cares
    a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not! So catch,
    calls the Onceler, he lets something fall. It’s a truffula seed, it’s
    the last one of all. Plant a new truffula and treat with care, give it
    clean water and feed it fresh air. Plant a forest, protect it from axes
    that hack, then someday the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.”

  • Jonathan Davis


    That’s not a picture of The Lorax enticing kids to come to a dealership. He’s kicking off the NEA’s Read Across America Tour—Powered by Mazda: summary: Mazda will be donating $25 for each new test drive taken at Mazda dealerships—up to $1 million—to the NEA’s Read Across America program, which donates $$ to impoverished schools and motivates kids to read. So let’s re-cap: They created the most fuel-efficient SUV in America (hybrids included), supported The Lorax financially with a commercial to announce this, and are donating $1 million to a Seuss-inspired charity that helps kids.  

    Not bad for an “evil corporation”, huh?

  • mike

    Indeed, Jonathan, that’s not bad for greenwashing. They’ve done quite a good greenwashing job, in fact.

  • Jonathan Davis

    If greenwashing is researching a subject before you report on it … then yes, greenwashing all the way.

  • @google-da1edb369a316c49d762c0f0d1f6b33d:disqus I was well aware of the Mazda/Lorax/Read Across America nexus when I wrote that caption. As you say, the way the promo works, Mazda donates $25 to Read Across America for every test drive until April 2. If Mazda gets 40,000 people to their showrooms and behind the wheel, they’ll give Read Across America a million dollars — equivalent to the revenue from selling about 48 Mazda CX-5s at the 2013 base price. 

    How many of those 40,000 potential Mazda customers get excited by the sight of the Lorax at this dealership? Not many, but I bet their kids do.

  • If your idea of reporting a story is to uncritically repeat talking points from an automobile company’s press release, then yeah Streetsblog does a poor job of that. Find another blog to read, or better yet a newspaper with a bunch of car ads on every other page.

    My question for the Mazda flacks in attendance is, who thought that presenting the vehicle from the perspective of a small animal that is about to be crushed under its tires was a good idea? We know you love the whole aggro “I’m a-gonna run you over!” view of mostly the grille, but in this case it seems rather off-message.

  • Anonymous

    @google-da1edb369a316c49d762c0f0d1f6b33d:disqus Indeed, as @2a15ea2c09af9bca9fa0232039062265:disqus said, it’s all greenwashing. Cars alone are responsible for much of the destruction of our environment, from all the ends of the earth we have scoured and destroyed to get oil and from the sprawl and ensuing habitat loss caused by roads that are now almost everywhere. On top of that, the car companies have consistently stood against any efforts to mitigate the massive, destructive, and unsustainable downsides of our automobile addiction, from opposing policy to increase fuel efficiency or raise the gas tax, or to support public transit or livable cities (and never mind the health effects of everyone driving). And all that is what truly makes it greenwashing. To once in a while toss a couple million bucks to some charity (which is a small dent in the ridiculous profits these companies make and how much they pay their execs) while their product is causing untold millions (if not billions) in damage to the environment all while appropriating a critter created by an author in a story that is supposed to stand as a message of corporate destruction for short-term profit, that is the very definition of greenwashing. If car companies like Mazda truly cared about the environment, they wouldn’t make token gestures (which gives them great publicity) but instead have policies that run through every aspect of their operation which tried to mitigate the downsides of cars.

  • @google-da1edb369a316c49d762c0f0d1f6b33d:disqus haha, “most fuel efficient SUV” … that’s kinda like “most fuel efficient main battle tank”


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