Super Bowl ad sparks trucking controversy
By Sean Kelley
A multi-million-dollar ad for employment website Monster.com is sparking criticism from the trucking industry days before its first public airing.
In the ad, which features the voice of trucking legend and radio host Bill Mack, a driverless 18-wheeler crashes through a cornfield, an intersection and a gas station. The truck careens past a diner where a jobless trucker sits drinking coffee.
Mack’s voiceover says, “Somewhere a trucking company needs a driver. Somewhere a driver needs a job. That’s where we come in. Blue collar, white collar, no collar — now Monster works for everybody.”
The commercial uses humor to illustrate Monster’s ability to connect drivers with empty trucks. But many inside the industry haven’t found the ad funny.
Several leading trucking organizations endorsed a press release Jan. 24 that said the advertisement trivialized ‘the efforts of all the trucking companies and professional drivers whose number one priority is to safely operate their vehicles each and every day.’
They urge those in the industry to call Monster and voice their concerns. Monster, which is using the ad to promote new skilled, hourly and part time job listings, did not return a call seeking comment.
Dozens of trucking companies use Monster to recruit drivers, including C.R. England and Federal Express.
Criticism of the ad came from The American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, NATSO (the truck stop trade association) and the National Private Truck Council.
The ad caused a stir with some truckers who saw only a short description of the commercial in the Wall Street Journal. Those truckers begin calling ATA, OOIDA and TCA, the groups said.
‘The ad completely ignores the trucking industry’s positive highway safety record, the professionalism of our 3.1 million drivers, and the over 10 million Americans — and likely Super Bowl viewers — who deliver America’s freight safely, efficiently and on time,’ the groups said.
The driver ad can be viewed at www.superbowl-ads.com. To view the ad, scroll down to a link in the far right column.
Monster can be reached through its website, www.monster.com, or by calling (800) Monster or (978) 461-8000.