"Detroit Project" Won't Play in Detroit

Detroit TV stations are refusing to broadcast the Detroit Project's TV ads linking terrorism to gas-guzzing SUVs, and industry-funded think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute have jumped in to attack the ads. Actually, the marketing link between SUVs and violence may run deeper than the Detroit Project realizes. The SUV craze got its start thanks to the first war in the Persian Gulf, which inspired automakers to adapt military vehicles for the consumer market. As even Fortune magazine admits, the auto industry has been deliberately marketing rollover-prone gaz-guzzlers as vehicles of aggression that appeal to consumers' "reptilian" instincts. Small wonder that, according to the industry's own market research, "the SUV is the car of choice for the nation's most self-centered people; and the bigger the SUV, the more of a jerk its driver is likely to be."